(Iman Aoun / Ashtar Theater)
ART, MUSIC & CULTURE
Shakespeare in Palestine: theater director speaks on Arabic version of Richard II
Sarah Irving The Electronic Intifada 27 April 2012
The Ashtar theater group is taking their performance of Richard II to the UK.
Next week (4-5 May), the Ramallah-based Ashtar theater group will be performing its production of William Shakespeare’s Richard II at the Globe Theater in London. The production is part of the Globe 2 Globe festival, which sees all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays being performed in languages ranging from Lithuanian to Arabic, Japanese to sign language.
The Electronic Intifada contributor Sarah Irving spoke to Iman Aoun, artistic director of Ashtar, about the Palestinian contribution to the festival.
Sarah Irving: Could you start by telling us a little about the history of Ashtar?
Iman Aoun: The company was started in 1991. My partner Edward Muallam and I started it as a training organization for young people offering an extra-curricular program in drama. Since then we’ve been working on training the students and in parallel doing productions with them. Since 1995 we also formed an ensemble from the graduates of the program together with professionals, and this ensemble has been doing co-productions every year with other companies, whether national, Arab or international, and touring both nationally and internationally.
In 1997, we introduced Theater of the Oppressed [a form of popular theater, founded in Brazil in the 1970s, which is made by, and for, people engaged in struggle for liberation] in Palestine and we’ve been working since then on this methodology, spreading it by training community members and other people to use it.
READ rest of the interview here
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