Yes Theatre visits 13th aita/iata World Festival of Children’s Theatre

Aita/iata’s Standing Committee for Children and Youth has long sponsored the World Festival in Lingen-Ems that occurs every four years.  It is one of the largest youth festivals on earth, attracting dozens of groups from nations around the globe. From July 25 to August 1 this summer, hundreds of children from eighteen nations will gather in Lingen once again to celebrate the 13th aita/iata World Festival of Children’s Theatre.

Yes Theatre Children in PerformanceThe creativity, dedication, and artistic expressiveness of young artists in Lingen has always been a hallmark of this Festival, a major cornerstone of the aita/iata organization. And one of the truly exciting artistic experiences at Lingen is the participation by new troupes each time the Festival occurs.  This year, several groups will present work in Lingen for the first time. According to Anne-Marie Jansen-Wieschebrock, Public Relations Director of the Festival, the eighteen troupes selected to appear in Lingen show “a wide diversity in content, form and artistic means.” Anne-Marie also hopes that bringing new groups to Lingen “may be a good chance to set up new networks, and link them to the global work of aita/iata” 

One of these new children’s theatre companies is the Yes Theatre from Palestine. Yes Theatre (YT) is an NGO that has has been working since 2008 in the Hebron governorate--Palestine, in particular, and in other Palestinian governorates--implementing drama and theatre projects and programs with youth inside and outside schools, in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, UNRWA and with other regional bodies in the Hebron Governorate. The group is led by the artistic staff of Ihab Zahda, Muhammed Titi, and Hamam Amero. 

Yes Theatre Group in PerformanceYes Theatre aims at creating a generation that is aware of the significance of theatre and its positive effects on the individual and society. “These people have come together to create somehow a kind of cultural life, and to enhance life skills for Palestinian children and youth,” remarked Mohammad Titi, one of the group’s leaders and spokesmen. Yes Theatre’s core programs include plays for adults, youngsters and kids. In addition to that, YT offers training for teachers and school counsellors to use drama, storytelling, acting and other methods in teaching and dealing with students at schools. 

Yes Theatre is the product of a long and difficult process that has lasted fifteen years,” according to Managing Director Mohammad Issa. YT’s projects include Kids4Kids, Play4Kids, drama workshops, puppet workshops, Yes4Youth Training Program, and Yes4Future. We certainly welcome this Palestinian company to Germany and hope that this will not be the troupe’s only appearance on international stages, showcasing the fine work that they do in this troubled region of the mideast. 

An exciting video of their work can be found on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnBDltDomP0. Numerous photos of their projects can also be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yes-theatre-Palestine/289764851145997?sk=photos_stream.