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Acting Out
Acting Out

Acting Out

Voices from the Theatre in Palestine



230 Pages, 8.25 x 8.25

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $39.95 (US $39.95) (CA $53.95)

Publication Date: December 2021

ISBN 9781914325014

Rights: US, CA & SAM

Gilgamesh Publishing (Dec 2021)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: December 2021


This collection of texts and photographs presents most of the professional and semi-professional theatres in Palestine and Palestinian theatres in Israel. The texts of interviews conducted by Jonathan Daitch in 2015, ’16, and ‘17 encompass some 50 actors, directors, and others directly involved in each of 26 theatres and theatre groups. This material is accompanied by photographs by Daitch and others. This remarkable book gives Palestinians involved in the theatre a stage a platform on which to talk about their lives in the theatre, and to present n their own words Palestinian culture and theatre to a broad audience. They do this with very powerful and moving personal statements, thus achieving one of the major purposes of this book: to help people to see Palestinian theatre as a creative artistic phenomenon, not only as a militant one.


"The theatre has changed me... from a person without a dream, without hope, to a person with hope! A person who believes in impossible things... to believe that there is nothing impossible. This is the change; to have a discipline, begging to improve things. Without becoming discouraged. And theatre has helped me to understand myself. To know my feelings... not only feelings... my soul!" —Ihab Zahdeh, Yes Theatre, Hebron

"We are a simple theatre, more mobile than fixed. Ninety percent of our performances are done on school playgrounds or on the street, next to the separation wall. We even work inside the Bedouin caravans. We work under the sun and under the rain. Here we mix theatre with awareness, with psychological support, with drama therapy. Some people will claim that we are not making theatre. Let us say, we are making the theatre of the simple people, the theatre of the oppressed people. This is a source of pride for us." —Abdelmughni Al-Jabari, Children's and Youth Dreams Society, Hebron

"Being a victim-thinking you are a victim and believing you are a victim-—well, you area victim. You adapt a victim attitude in your life-how you relate to people, how you talk to them, and eventually it becomes a whole culture of people who are victims. So, I do not want to be a victim. I would never want you to come to see our theatre children, and for you to see misery in them. No. My aim is that you come and see children full of life, who are able to change their status quo—who are able to change the future. Because then we are feeding people-misery will not feed people's hope, will not feed people's creativity." —Rami Khader, Diyar Academy for Children and Youth, Bethlehem

Author Biography

Born in Boston in 1941 into a Jewish Ashkenazi family, Jonathan Daitch divided his professional career as a teacher first in the US, where he earned a doctorate in education, and then in France, where he has lived for the last 35 years. An avid amateur photographer since the age of 19, photography became a full-time activity when he retired in 2001. In 2007, at the invitation of the Alrowwad Cultural Centre in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, he spent two weeks there helping to set up a darkroom and giving photography classes.