Verbatim Theatre Project, Alrowwad Culture Centre, Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, Palestine, 18 July 2017

by ray goodlass

A productive day. I’ve started to add relaxation exercises to the personal growth, group cohesion, problem solving and breathing warm ups I’ve been doing. Some of the student actors are very tense when telling their stories, and as we near the performance date they will become more so, therefore its about time to pay attention to relaxation work.

More stories were performed today, and I’ve started to encourage them to tell their stories as a frightening experience (for example), rather than woodenly recite them. Its starting to work with one or two, and with work will grow to include them all.

I tried our two co-hosts standing up today, and that worked much better. Next rehearsal I’ll try the story tellers standing up too, though whether that will work remains to be seen – there may be way too much nervous foot shuffling.

And, nothing to do with the theatre project, walking a slightly different route home today I spotted an sign reading Olive Wood Factory. So I amble down its side street, poked my head in, and was made most welcome. It’s quite large, and though mechanised, it is still a process of individuals working at their craft. When I expressed interest in Peace Doves I was even given samples: a pendant, a broach, and a (fridge) magnet. Just a lovely little experience, one of many that happen here.

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