Below is a draft of an open letter from theatre makers in Wales relating to the recent attack on Freedom Theatre in the Jenin refugee camp, where our colleague Jacob Gough is general manager. Please feel free to add your signature through the comment box below, and/or to comment on the draft. The goal is to send this off by the end of next week to key Welsh and UK newspapers, the Welsh Minister for Heritage, and the Israeli Embassy in London. This is a small gesture of solidarity on our part, written in a spirit of support and hope. John
Open Letter from the Theatre Makers of Wales
We, the theatre makers of Wales, deplore the recent attacks in Jenin on The Freedom Theatre, its people and property. Freedom Theatre is a beacon for artistic expression and cultural co-operation, offering children and young adults in the Jenin area a safe space in which they are free to express themselves, to explore their creativity and emotions. The theatre has the following admirable goals:
- To raise the quality of performing arts and cinema in the area.
- To offer a space in which children and youth can act, create and express themselves freely, imagining new realities and challenging existing social and cultural barriers.
- To empower the young generation to use the arts to promote positive change in their community.
- To break the cultural isolation that separates Jenin from the wider Palestinian and global communities.
Sadly, it is reliably reported that in the past week, Israeli soldiers attacked the theatre, and arrested staff members.
Unless initiatives such as Freedom Theatre are nourished and supported, there can be little prospect for wider understanding and peace. We call on the Israeli government to investigate and effect an immediate end to these attacks. We call on our fellow artists in Israel and beyond to support The Freedom Theatre as an inspiring source of cultural understanding and artistic hope.
John McGrath, Artistic Director, National Theatre Wales
Peter Cox, MBE, writer
Greg Cullen, writer and director
Terry Victor, writer and performer
Rebecca Gould, director
Kaite O’Reilly, writer
Abdul Shakek, Creative Associate, National Theatre Wales
Carys Shannon, writer and producer
Carmen Medway-Stephens, writer and director
Tim Price, writer
Bridget Keehan, director
Guy O’Donnell, designer
Kath Chandler, writer
Chris Kinsey, writer
Tom Beardshaw, media artist
Sam Burns, writer
Alun Howell, writer
Sam Boardman-Jacobs, choreographer
Lisa Perry, writer
Alan Harris, writer
Tom Wentworth, writer
Brad Birch, writer
Ian Staples, writer
Kit Lambert, writer
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