(From L-R: Documentary filmmaker Lena Rudnick, Manhattan Shakespeare Project Founding Artistic Director Sarah Eismann, and teaching artist Jensen Olaya)
New York, November 15, 2012 — Manhattan Shakespeare Project, an all-female Shakespeare theater company, will send members to The Drama Academy in Ramallah, Palestine from Sunday, November 25 to Friday, December 7, 2012 to teach 14 Palestinian drama students on William Shakespeare text & performance, movement, and viewpoints.
During their visit, the women will collaborate with the students to create an original devised theater piece incorporating Palestinian youth songs, William Shakespeare’s Sonnets (both in English and Arabic), and movement that will tell each student's story of what it means to be an artist in Palestine. The piece will be presented to the public in Ramallah and at The Freedom Theatre in the Jenin refugee camp. For one week, the students from The Drama Academy will also mentor Jenin high school students, through the process of theater making, to develop another original piece, which will also be publicly performed at The Freedom Theatre.
Manhattan Shakespeare Project’s founding artistic director, Sarah Eismann, and teaching artist Jensen Olaya will teach Shakespeare text & performance and viewpoints respectively.
A documentary will be created by filmmaker Lena Rudnick to capture the methodology and stories of these students for an audience beyond the Palestinian borders. The film will be used for educational outreach to symposiums across the U.S., as well as to students worldwide in an effort to collaborative theater pieces and mentor new students and communities.
In November 2011, the New York-based theater company had an opportunity to perform with the students from The Drama Academy in an international production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Shakespeare. Inspired by the collaborative experience with The Drama Academy, Manhattan Shakespeare Project has put together the “Shakespeare For A New World: The Palestinian Voice” initiative. “We want to answer the question ‘How can artists from wildly different backgrounds, cultures, and languages create theater together, bridge diverse communities, and teach each other and audiences how to grow and live in harmony?'” said Eismann.
For more information about Manhattan Shakespeare Project and “Shakespeare For A New World: The Palestinian Voice,” visit manhattanshakes.org.
Donations are also accepted at indiegogo.com/shakespeare-for-a-new-world.
Manhattan Shakespeare Project is a bright new venture into the wonderful world of Shakespeare. Its mission is to explore ways to re-envision Shakespeare's works, to communicate to new generations and new communities. It wants to create vital and currently viable theater focusing on gender constructs, and develop its members' passion for theater not only as an art form, but also as an educational tool.
Manhattan Shakespeare Project is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Manhattan Shakespeare Project must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Past productions have included “Henry V” and “Titus Andronicus.”