Improvised scenes about war and video link-up with Gaza

Sunday 24th January 2016 7pm at Rich Mix, Shoreditch, London

Join Az Theatre for this unique international interactive theatre experience.

* A group of actors meet on a Friday evening in London.
* They come from England, Iraq, Palestine, France, Turkey, Syria and elsewhere.
* They share stories of war and terror from their own experience and observation.
* By the Sunday afternoon they have composed a series of improvised scenes.
* An audience is invited to share and interact with the scenes.  They can change the scenes as they like.
* A group of theatre makers in Gaza come together to compose scenes.
* The people in London see the scenes and make an exchange with the people in Gaza.

About War Stories

This is the background to unforeseen – war stories encore – gaza/london. In 2002 Az Theatre launched War Stories with a workshop at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in Romania.  The participating theatre companies came from Palestine, Algeria, Serbia and the UK. It was our first work with Theatre for Everybody from Gaza.
This was followed by a sequence of work including:
* workshops in Belgrade (Serbia), Trabzon (Turkey), Pristina (Kosovo), Naples (Italy), Bourj Bou Arreridj (Algeria), Gaza (Palestine), York and London (UK).
* an English-language world premiere by Iraqi theatre-maker Jawad Al Asadi.
* a revival of a 600 year-old play by a Japanese master, Motokiyo Zeami.
* theatre projects in collaboration with the United Nations Office of Missing Persons and Forensics in Kosovo
* a workshop programme which took the company from the edge of the Sahara to the shadow of Vesuvius
* the production of a first-time play by former asylum seeker, Hoshiar.
* a research trip to Kashmir
* a research project with the Trinity Laban Conservatoire.
* The launch of GAZA DRAMA LONG TERM 2009-2019

In 1999 in preparation for this work Az Director, Jonathan Chadwick, directed a workshop at the Tricycle Theatre, Workshop on (the) War, and another at the Royal Court Theatre, Just War Stories Workshop. These included artists from Iraq, Greece, Italy, South Africa, Canada and the UK. Our proposition was simple: war has changed us, can you dramatise the moment when it most closely touched your life?

* Theatre-maker Augusto Boal sent us the following message of support: ‘Peace yes, but passivity no!’
* Peruvian physical anthropologist, Jose Pablo Baraybar, working in Kosovo taught us the importance of ‘de-victimising the victims’.
* Tony Negri and Michael Hardt have characterised war in era of late capitalism as ‘global civil war’.
* Our method of work is based on the work of Paulo Freire, Augusto Boal and Joanna Macy and others.  It is theoretically diverse and methodologically unorthodox and is a further development of work undertaken by Jonathan Chadwick in mappa mundi and in his work with Forum Theatre Armenia and Istanbul-based Ad’dar in The Bridge (2014-15)