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Rehearsing the Future: ASHTAR International Youth Theatre Festival

Ash Marinaccio | Ramallah, Palestine

The ASHTAR Theatre is located in Ramallah, Palestine. Beyond Ramallah, ASHTAR makes itself accessible to students who live in refugee camps and more rural areas of the West Bank by providing long-term theatre workshops within the camps and at local schools. “We aim to give our young people a platform where they discover their own voice and learn about themselves before they learn about life. Through theatre, they start to form opinions about life, situations, their country, their personal world, and being citizens,” remarks ASHTAR co-founder Iman Aoun.

"Rehearsing the Future" features the ASHTAR Theatre in Ramallah, Palestine. Founded in 1991 by Palestinian actors Iman Aoun and Edward Muallem, ASHTAR Theatre is the oldest youth theatre in the West Bank. Their bi-annual ASHTAR International Youth Theatre Festival brings together young people from across the world to participate in collaborative theatre-making and performances with the intention of creating systemic change.

These photos were made during rehearsals and workshops for the 2022 ASHTAR International Youth Theatre and features young artists and theatre companies from the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Jordan, Syria, Gaza, and across the West Bank. “I always say that one of the things we want to create, if we do not create theatre makers, we create professional citizens,” remarks Iman Aoun, ASHTAR Theatre Artistic Director.

These photographs are part of a long term project called "I'll Betray My Country" about theatre makers in areas of war and conflict which aims to document the impact of theatre and culture makers in their respective communities.

Support for this project provided by the Puffin Foundation

Additional support for this project was provided by CUNY Graduate Center's DSRG Grant and Docbloc 

To learn more about ASHTAR Theatre and support their work visit their website at ashtar-theatre.org

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