West of us lies the sea
A team of theatre makers will come together in Al Saraya Theatre in early 2015 in order to create a street show that will capture the story of one family in the last days before the 1948 war. Based on historical research and oral testimonials of people who lived in Jaffa at the time, Al Saraya will create a show that maps the last escape route just as the 1948 starts. This narrative driven story is told by a stray alley cat that used to be part of the family but was left behind. This main character being an animal sees humans as strange characters giving us the ability to change perspective while it leads the audience through the old alley ways of Jaffa to the unfamiliar places; the roof tops and the back alleys showing us reality from a different angle and allowing the audience to peep into small moments of life. These moments will be dramatic scenes that will be created with actors throughout the route of the journey. This is a voyage into a city that no longer exists, into sounds that have been silenced and into smells that have long since evaporated. On the last leg of the voyage, the “then” will be mixed with the “now” and it will become the story of “what if”. What would have happened if war hadn’t attacked this place? What would have become of the city then?
This show will be a learning experience for everyone involved, as most Palestinian theatre practitioners have little or none practice in site-specific performances. The show will involve an equal mixture of professional and amateur performers, mixing some of the most experienced actors alongside with first time ones. Workshops will be offered to the neighborhood residents, especially to marginalised youth, on theatre technical aspects.
Al Saraya Theatre is a theatre for the Arab Palestinian minority that lives inside Israel. It is one of the leading cultural institutions in the country and has worked for the last 10 years in creating excellent theatre shows in Israel/ Palestine. Al Saraya aspires to create cutting edge, high quality theatre in Arabic celebrating the richness and uniqueness of their culture using their unique situation as a cultural meeting point, by staying curious and enriched by the surrounding environment in which they are a minority. Their theatre functions as a safe place where their community can meet, interact and explore its concerns as a minority. In the most delicate situation faced by many challenges that Palestinians inside Israel are faced with, Al Saraya strongly believes that cultural excellence is the best way to strengthen their community and protect their cultural heritage and language.