CONSIDER all the challenges involved with creating a new work of theatre. Then try to do all of that within the conflict zone that is modern-day Palestine.

“I’m creating theatre in one of the harshest environments there is to create theatre in,” says internationally acclaimed director Amir Nizar Zuabi, who will present two works at this year’s Adelaide Festival.

“The hurdles are that we don’t even have a state, and theatre heavily involves funding, because it involves collaboration between lots of people.

“We don’t have a big urban centre – and the urban centre that we do have is cut off from the rest of its environment. Palestinians are living in what is today Israel and in the West Bank and in Gaza, so we are very separated from each other by different political restrictions, barriers and walls.

“At the same time, we don’t have a big theatre tradition to begin with. We have a longer tradition of poetry than of theatre. There is no infrastructure – there are hardly any theatres here which would be considered a theatre anywhere else in the world.

“But, along with the fact that we have all these challenges, we also have a lot of advantages because of that. People who become involved in theatre here are involved for all the right reasons: They have something deep to say about the world they live in – not only politically.”

ShiberHur Theatre Company, which Zuabi founded in 2008, will perform his work Azza, which explores the mourning ritual of the same name, while he will also direct a solo work by actor Amer Hlehel called Taha, based on one of Palestine’s greatest poets.

Read the report in The Advertiser.

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