Day 2 (Tuesday 4 July 2017) of my Alrowwad Verbatim Theatre Project

by ray goodlass

A good second session after an inauspicious beginning in that most of the student actors were late, very late. But an hour after the scheduled start we were able to get going, and successfully too.

As this was our first real class I focused on preparing them for the interviewing component of their work, in which they will interview residents of the Aida Refugee Camp about their life in the camp, with an underlying theme of ‘The Nakba Is Not A Memory; It Is Ongoing’ (caps as per the poster in the  camp), which will provide the raw material for our play.

Accordingly, after recapping on yesterday’s introductory talk in which I explained we would be creating a piece of verbatim theatre about life in the camp based on their interviews of the camp residents I taught interviewing techniques, had each one practice with a fellow student, and then report back to the whole group. We then checked that the recording and playback functions on their smart phones worked, and that they knew how  to use them.

We finished up with the students interviewing me, which I figured was a more useful way of them learning about my background and motivation for the project.

I did ask that the whole project, from go to whoa be documented, and so was chuffed to have a photographer there for a good part of the class.

The student who acted as interpreter yesterday did turn up so he was very useful, as were as couple of staff members who dropped in and were a great help as translators, but for the next class I will take a large notepad so we can write down any words that I can’t understand. I’ve also asked for name tags.

No class tomorrow, it’s Alrowwad’s day off (i.e. they are closed on Wednesdays), so the students will have time to do their interviews.