Verbatim Theatre Project, Alrowwad Centre, Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, Palestine. 20 July 2017

by ray goodlass

We did it! Put the whole play together for the first time, that is. It was a bit of a shemozzle, we started an hour late, and not all the student actors were there, but nonetheless we do have a play.

Its pretty much as I envisaged it two weeks ago, though there are changes. The hosts, and the story tellers will stand rather than sit, which gives the storytellers more flexibility to physically act out their stories, convey the through line or arc of the story, the intentions of the characters they are talking about, and to express the emotions buried deep in there.  The stories are horrific, after all.

The hosts too will have more of a presence if they are standing, though when the stories are being told they will sit.

The other big news today was that Murad, our film guy, was there for the duration of today’s rehearsal. He was a great help with the actors, but more than that, he confirmed my original hope, that it will be filmed twice: once with the audience, and once without, to allow for separate set ups and shots and so forth. I’m really stoked about this confirmation.

The other big news is that for the last couple of days I’ve had an Honours graduate from Charles Sturt University’s BA Acting for Screen and Stage (the course I developed and coordinated for umpteen years) with us – Bethany Simons, who has had a very successful career devising her own plays (Green Room awards and all) since graduation. Beth has also been a great help, and I’m very grateful for her input.