Acting On The World Stage: Theatre and Peace Building In Conflict Zones
by Theatre Without Borders

Ellen Stewart Theatre/The Annex & The Club

September 23 - 26, 2010

Presented by La MaMa ETC; Ellen Stewart, Artistic Director and Theatre Without Borders
With support from 651 ARTS/Africa Exchange; Brandeis University; Fordham University, the Public Theater and the Romanian Cultural Institute of New York.

Suggested donation for entire conference: $25 - SOLD OUT

Theatre Without Borders and the Coexistence Program at Brandeis University launches a year of gathering and distributing information about ongoing theatre work – research, performance, workshops, and artists’ exchanges – centered on the relationship between the arts and peace building.

Artists from: Afghanistan, Argentina, Belarus, Burma, Cambodia, Colombia, Cyprus, England, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Romania, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, United States, and Zimbabwe will discuss their work, give workshops and perform from their work.

For artists, students, service organizations, funders and diplomats, this is the place to meet the international artists at the front of this innovative approach to peacebuilding.

Conference highlights include performances, workshops and roundtable discussions:
Keynotes: “Conflict & Trauma: Strategies for Transformation & Healing,” Dr. Barbara Love (UMass Amherst); and “An Incident of Cutting & Chopping: the Bindunuwewa Child Soldier Massacre,” James Thompson (University of Manchester, UK);
Screening of the World Premiere ACTING TOGETHER Documentary Film;
Performances of Buckworld One (USA); Ieng Sithul & Chhon Sina reading a play by Morm Sokly (Cambodia); Discover Love, Belarus Free Theatre; Crossing the Line, DAH Theatre (Serbia); Theatre of Festivity, Albugaa Theatre (Sudan).        
La Galleria Exhibit: Culture on Canvas: Contemporary paintings from Myanmar.

Press and Media Contact: +1-347-512-5572 or
For more information:
full 4-day schedule below

In Association With: 7 Stages, Atlanta; Brown University; Immigrants’ Theatre Project; Lark Play Development Center; New York University; TCG (Theatre Communications Group) – ITI (International Theatre Institute) U.S. Center, CUNY/Creative Arts Team, League of Professional Theatre Women

La MaMa E.T.C. presents:

Theatre Without Borders



September 23-26, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

3:30-5:30pm                REGISTRATION

5pm                           MEET & GREET

5:30                           WELCOME AND ORIENTATION

6-7:30                         DOCUMENTARY


A film by Cynthia Cohen and Allison Lund

Tells the stories of courageous and creative artists, cultural workers and peacebuilders working in zones of conflict.

Introduction by Dan Terris, International Center for Ethics, Justice & Public Life, Brandeis University

Followed by brief remarks by Devanand Ramiah, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNDP, and a panel discussion with Cynthia Cohen, Brandeis University and Allison Lund, filmmaker.

7:30-8                        RECEPTION hosted by Brandeis University

8-9:30                       PERFORMANCE FOLLOWED BY TALKBACK


Developed under the guidance of playwright and University of California, Riverside Professor of Theater Rickerby Hinds. Buck (sometimes called Krump) is an energetic, expressive and very physical new dance form that grew out of South Los Angeles neighborhoods. “Krump or Buck is a form of expression often related to praise dancing that explores and addresses themes such as violence in the community, police brutality and the civil-rights movement.” Young people with no formal dance training gather in church fellowship halls, playgrounds, parking lots or any neutral space each week throughout Southern California to participate in “krump battles” in which they use dance moves instead of bullets. “Buck World One” portrays how the worlds might have begun 13.7 billion years ago — from the universe, the Earth, continents, countries and neighborhoods down to the individual - showing that everyone is part of the larger picture.     


Friday, September 24, 2010

9-9:30am                       COFFEE & TEA

9:30-9:45am                   WELCOME AND ORIENTATION

9:45-11am                      KEYNOTE

Dr. Barbara Love, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

"CONFLICT & TRAUMA: Strategies for Transformation and Healing”

In “The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget”, author Andrew Rice grapples with the trauma produced by violence and conflict on individual lives as well as the entire society in the Uganda of Idi Amin. The ongoing trauma produced by violence and conflict in Liberia, Rwanda, Sudan, Sri Lanka, the Americas, and other parts of the world hurts the human spirit and marks the soul. Humankind needs healing to reclaim our capacity to transform ourselves and the societies that cluster us. This discussion reflects on strategies for healing and the extension of soul healing to the transformation of the world.

11-11:10am                  BREAK

11:10am-12:30pm          ROUNDTABLE


Facilitator Catherine Filloux (TWB, USA) With Ieng Sithul, Chhon Sina, and Rithisal Kang (CAMBODIA); Pauline Ross (NORTHERN IRELAND); Hjalmar-Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn (AFGHANISTAN); William Yellow Robe, Jr. (ASSINIBOINE TRIBE, PART OF THE SIOUX NATIONS)

12:30-12:50pm              SHAKE IT UP SESSION - Forum Theatre with Chris Vine and Helen White (Creative Arts Team).

12:50-2pm                     LUNCH

Lunch table conversation: "The Emerging Generation" Moderated by J.J. El-Far and Tracy Francis – The Club Theatre, 74A E. 4th Street

Lunch table conversation: “Responses to the ACTING TOGETHER Documentary” with Cynthia Cohen & Allison Lund – The Club Theatre

2-3:20pm                       ROUNDTABLE


Facilitator Roberta Levitow (TWB, USA) With Dijana Milosevic, DAH Theatre (SERBIA); Lee Perlman and Aida Nasrallah (ISRAEL); Rubina Feroze Bhatti (PAKISTAN); Gũlgũn Kayim (CYPRUS/USA); Mahmood Karimi-Hakak (USA/IRAN)

3:30-3:45pm                   BREAK                                                    

3:45-6pm                       PERFORMANCE IN DIALOGUE - Host, Mia Yoo

Naomi Newman, A Traveling Jewish Theatre (USA)

"Through An Old Woman’s Eyes; Stories and Lamentations About the State of the World and How to Repair the Mess"

Dawn Saito, Fordham University (USA)

“Sword of Sea”

Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Siena College (IRAN/USA)

Dialogue Impossible? "The Glass Wall"

6-7:30pm                  CULTURE ON CANVAS: CONTEMPORARY BURMESE ART Exhibit and Reception –

                               La MaMa Galleria, 6 East 1st Street

                               EXHIBIT HOURS: Thurs-Sat 1-8pm, Sun 1-6pm

8-10pm                    PERFORMANCES


Ieng Sithul sings “The Birth of Sam and Bopha” and “Our Land’s Compassion” from the contemporary opera “Where Elephants Weep” (Composer Him Sophy). He also performs a scene from a Cambodian story Lea peakriyea tov tak domrey.  There is a tradition in Cambodian villages that men, before leaving to hunt elephants, perform a ritual reminding their wives of the things they should not do. It is a superstition that if the wife combs her hair or cooks a certain soup the husband will encounter bad luck in the forest.  Ieng will use two kinds of flutes (Saneng and Pey).

Chhon Sina performs from “The Tooth of Buddha” a new play by Morm Sokly, a Cambodian performer and playwright.  The play is Poetry Theatre (Lakhaon Kamnap) and is done in spoken or chanted verse, portraying the miracle of Buddhism. In Cambodian poetry there are at least 53 styles of verse and 60 different ways of reciting.  The sacred relic tooth of the Buddha and its eventual resting place in Sri Lanka is not a common subject for a contemporary stage play in Cambodia.  The scene is about a husband and wife bringing this relic of the Buddha to a stupa.  Chhon Sina is a playwright, actress and teacher from the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

brief intermission

“DISCOVER LOVE" - Belarus Free Theatre (BELARUS)

Written by Nikolai Halezin and Natalia Koliada

Directed by Nikolai Halezin

Choreographed by Olga Skvortsova

Music by DJ Laurel

Established in 2005 in response to repression in “Europe’s last dictatorship,” the award-winning Belarusian company—now outlawed at home—stages a gripping original drama based on the true story of dissident Irina Krasovskaya and her husband Anatoly, who was “disappeared” 10 years ago. Their wrenching story is interwoven with parallel instances of political intimidation and violence in Asia and South America. Belarus Free Theatre is devoted to presenting dramas by banned Belarusian playwrights, whose work it also translates and publishes abroad. The troupe first began performing in private apartments and has since won the backing of prominent playwrights such as the late Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard and Václav Havel, as well as numerous artistic and human rights organizations. Performed in Russian with supertitles in English.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

9-9:30am                    COFFEE & TEA

9:30-9:45am                WELCOME AND ORIENTATION

9:45-11am                   KEYNOTE

James Thompson, University of Manchester, UK

"An Incident of Cutting and Chopping: A performance lecture on the Bindunuwewa child soldier massacre in Sri Lanka 2000"

The performance lecture explores a child soldier massacre in Sri Lanka in 2000 and is based on James' work in Sri Lanka since that time. It asks questions about the relationship between theatre practitioners and the contexts in which they work, and where responsibilities lie when things go wrong. 'An Incident of Cutting and Chopping' is linked to a commemorative project about the massacre that has been developed in Sri Lanka in the years since the event and draws on material in the opening chapter of James' book 'Performance Affects'. The performance is part of a broader project researching and developing performance projects in sites of armed conflict that James has directed since 2004 - In Place of War (

11-11:10am                  BREAK

11:10am-12:30pm          ROUNDTABLE


Facilitator Daniel Banks (TWB, USA) With Natalia Kaliada, Belarus Free Theatre (BELARUS); Roberto Varea, Argentina (USA/ARGENTINA); Iman Aoun, Ashtar Theatre (PALESTINE); Manijeh Mohamedi (IRAN); Ruth Margraff (USA/INDIA)

12:30-12:50pm             SHAKE IT UP SESSION – Playback Theatre with Hannah Fox and Mizuho Kanazawa (Big Apple Playback)

12:50-2pm                   LUNCH

Lunch Table Conversation: “Theatre Artists in Iran" - led by Torange Yeghiazarian with Ayat Najafi; Manijeh Mohamedi; Mahmood Karimi-Hakak – The Club Theatre, 74A E. 4th Street

Lunch Table Conversation: "Using Devised Theatre in Conflict Zones" – led by Iñigo Ramirez de Haro – The Club Theatre, 74A E. 4th Street

2-3:20pm                    ROUNDTABLE


Facilitator Deborah Asiimwe (UGANDA)
With Maria Draghici, laBOMBA and Bogdan Georgescu, Generosity Offensive (ROMANIA); Dale Byam, Brooklyn College, Theatre for Development in Africa (USA); Adalet Garmiany, ArtRole Iraq-US Exchanges (IRAQ); Zane Lucas, Theory X Media (ZIMBABWE); Lillian Manzor, Cuba/Latina Theatre Archive (USA/CUBA)

3:30-4pm                   BREAK

4-6:30pm                   WORKSHOPS

1. International Beginner’s Guide: David Diamond, Host; Marcy Arlin, Immigrants Theatre Project (USA); Cecily Cook, Asian Cultural Council (USA); Georgiana Pickett, 651 ARTS/Africa Exchange (USA)

2.  International Video Conference: Billy Clark, International Program Director; Catherine Filloux, Curator; FAVILEK Women Theatre Artists (HAITI); Morm Sokly (CAMBODIA); Eugene Van Erven (THE NETHERLANDS); Polly Walker (AUSTRALIA) - Culture Hub, Great Jones Street Studios

3. Theatre of Festivity: Ali Mahdi and Albugaa Theatre (SUDAN) --Great Jones Street Studios, 1st Floor

4.  Forum Theatre: Iman Aoun and Ashtar Theatre (PALESTINE) – La MaMa, 1st Floor Theater

5.  Story Circle Workshop: John O'Neal, Junebug Productions (USA) -- La MaMa, Club Space

6.  Open Forum Sharing Session: Josh Perlstein and Lisa Schlesinger, Hosts - Ellen Stewart Lobby           

6:30-7:45pm           DINNER                         

8-9pm                   PERFORMANCE


Dramaturgy and direction: Dijana Milošević

Performers: Maja Mitić, Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, Ivana Milenović

Set design: Neša Paripović

Costume design: Dah Theatre Research Centre

Sound design: Jugoslav Hadžić

Light design: Radomir Stamenković

Organization: Ivana Damnjanović and Dejan Popović

This performance of Dah Theatre is based on texts from the book Women's Side of War edited by the Women in Black organization (2007). The book is a collection of authentic women's testimonies about the wars that had occurred in the former republic of Yugoslavia from 1991 till 1999. The book is the result of a year's research by Women in Black, and in cooperation with women's nongovernmental organizations in the region who are dealing with the past and human rights. Most of the texts have been already published in various books and in other publications created by these NGOs. They consist of testimonies, statements, letters and memories. They show the specific suffering of women in war, but also their courage and strength for surviving the trauma of war to re-establish normal life, and also the importance of solidarity with women beyond all borders and divisions. All testimonies are presented in the first person, without comments or any other kind of use or misuse. The main goal of the performance is to reach the audience not only on a verbal but, primarily, on an emotional and psychological level and to stimulate women to start speaking; to take note of and to express their own sufferings through recognizing the suffering of others; to develop solidarity; to become conscious about the essence of violence in war; to become more active in democratic processes; and to participate in building a righteous and long-lasting peace.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

9:30-10am                  COFFEE/TEA

10-11:30am                 ROUNDTABLE


Facilitator Erik Ehn (Arts in the One World, USA)
With Kitche Magak, Arts & Peace Building Program, Maseno University (KENYA); Emilya Cachapero, ITI US Center (USA); Cathy Zimmerman, MAPP International/Africa Consortium (USA-AFRICA); Ella Fuksbrauner, Bogota Festival (COLOMBIA); John Martin, PAN Intercultural Arts (UK); Torange Yeghiazarian & Lisa Rothe, Middle East American Play Initiative - Golden Thread Productions & The Lark Play Development Center (USA)

11:30-11:40am             BREAK

11:40am-1:10pm          ROUNDTABLE


Facilitator Roberto Varea, (University of San Francisco, USA) With Chris Vine and Helen White, Theatre of the Oppressed, Creative Arts Team (USA); Ali Mahdi, Theatre of Festivity, Albugaa Theatre: (SUDAN); Joanna Sherman, Bond Street Theatre (USA); Jo Salas, Hudson River Playback Theatre (USA); Kwesi Johnson, Kompany Malakhi (UK)

1:10-1:30pm                SHAKE IT UP SESSION – Hip-Hop Theatre, Daniel Banks (Hip Hop Theatre Initiative, USA) Kwesi Johnson (Kompany Malakhi, UK)

1:30-2:30pm               LUNCH

3-3:45pm                    PERFORMANCE

"SINNAR CRUCIBLE"  - Albugaa Theatre (SUDAN)

Written and composed by Ali Mahdi

Performers: Gamal Abdelrahman; Tarig Ali; Gidier Mirghani; Awad Hassan; Abdelsalam Khalil; Ekhlas Noureldin; Amira Ahmed; Ibrahim Khadir; Mohamed Abdalla; Emam Hassan; Abdelaziz Mohamed; and Gasim Elelah Hamednalla.

Called a "Spectacle of Festivity Towards Indulgent Democracy", this performance comes from the Sudan Center for Theatre in Conflict Zones.  The center's goals are research and performance in the meeting between Arabic and African cultures.  The characters are "from our times" but they also are "the echo of the fathers", who are all meeting in the Sinnar Crucible. The play searches for solutions to the conflicts of war by retrieving the times of agreement. 

5pm                            CONFERENCE ENDS