Acting-Out: Voices from The Theatre in Palestine

Jonathan Daitsh

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To help you discover the Palestinian theatre in all of its richness and diversity, this book contains:

A collection of texts from interviews with Palestinian theatre people

The histories, personal reflections, and testimonies about their creativity, their engagement in the education of youth, their difficulties, hopes, and deceptions given by the 50 Palestinian artists interviewed, reveal and transport you to the heart of the Palestinian theatre.

Photographs which put the “spotlight” on Palestinian artists and theatres
Photographs taken during the interviews give life to the passion, the joy, the regrets, and the gests which punctuated the discussions, giving the reader the impression that he or she is assisting in the interview. Photographs of the theatres and productions demonstrate the ideas expressed and add to the richness of the texts. Certain photographs have been provided by the theatres themselves to illustrate their work.

A presentation which facilitates the reader’s voyage into the heart of Palestinian culture The 50 interviews of actors, directors and theatre managers from 26 theatres in 11 cities in Palestine are presented in a manner which invites the reader on a cultural voyage, meeting the interviewees and their theatres in the heart of Palestinian cities.

A map of Palestine identifies the 26 theatres with the 11 cities in which they are located (all of which are situated in The West Bank or Gaza, with the exception of Haifa, Jaffa, and Maghar). The map (p.22) allows the reader to refer to it as he or she peruses the book. In this way the book can also serve as a Palestinian cultural traveler’s guide.

A gallery of portraits of the 50 actors, actresses, directors and theatre managers whose testimonies make up the heart of Acting Out can be found on pages 16 & 17. They are truly the co-authors, forming a community of professionals dedicated to their art and to Palestinian culture.

Inside the book the 26 theatres, each of which is represented by a chapter, are presented by city in the order of a spiral beginning with East Jerusalem and ending in Gaza, E. Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Hebron, Ramallah, Al-Bireh, Jenin, Magar, Haifa, Yafa, and Gaza. Each text is preceded by the name, address and contact information of the theatre represented. This information facilitates, even invites readers who wish to learn more or to visit a theatre to easily enter into contact, to follow its evolution on the Internet, and eventually to support a theatre’s program. For each of these theatres lives a daily adventure of creation, resistance, and resilience which merits our interest, our support and deep respect.

Have a wonderful trip to the heart of Palestine!

Jonathan DAITCH is a retired educator and has for many years been a passionate photographer. A defender of the Palestinian cause, he accompanied, between 2011 to 2014, several tours of Palestinian Theatres in France, during which he developed strong ties with Theatre people from Bethlehem and Hebron.

Encouraged by them to discover the other Theatre in Palestinian, most of which are unknown in Europe and North America, he decided to immerse himself for several weeks in the heart of The West Bank, in 2015 and 2016, with the idea of producing a book of photographs of Palestinian theatres.

In the course of those unique trips, which took him from city to city and Theatre to Theatre, the richness of the testimonies about the artistic lives and the educational engagements of the dozens of actors whom he interviewed naturally led to his illuminating and transmitting those words.

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