Three women from Gaza decided to rebel against the society’s stereotypical approach to art, and from here was their beginning, as they established the Seed Theater for Culture and Arts. The play “Hashtag” was born, which is the story of three boys who gathered in the port, each with their own dream, and when One of them decides to disappear, in order to discover what is behind the port, the events of the play begin.
About this dramatic artwork, Wissam Al-Dirawi, Executive Director of Budour Theater for Culture and Arts, director of the play “Hashtag”, says: This theatrical work talks about the reality of Gaza, and the thinking of young people about immigration, because of the difficult conditions that Gaza is going through, whether politically, economically, or socially, and that after the three wars.
She adds: From here the idea of the play came to treat and strengthen the idea of sticking to Gaza, staying in it, and excluding the ghost of immigration that hangs over the minds of our young people. The play includes three children from the camp, who were curious to know what is beyond the sea. Belgium) to realize his dream there, and here comes the role of Uncle Abu Al-Nawras, the port guard, who was always there to convince them that Gaza is beautiful, reinforcing the idea of insisting on sticking to the homeland.
“The play aims to focus on more than one axis: the first axis is maintaining the cleanliness of public places as part of the homeland, and the second axis is the lost family bonding, especially at the present time, as our social relations have become exhausted due to technology,” she said.
As for choosing the name “hashtag”, Al-Dirawi says: “We put forward more than one name for the play, but the children decided to name it with this name, meaning that it is something that everyone agrees on, namely the homeland, but each one with his goal, his dream, and his analysis.”
symbolism of events
Al-Dirawi confirms that the symbolism is high in the play, as the character of the old port guard (Abu Al-Nawras) is a symbol of the seagull, which symbolizes holding on to the land, as it is a wild sea bird that enhances the value of stability within society, because it feeds from the country’s goods, and the storm symbolizes The tragic conditions of Gaza, as for the fishermen, they are the people who cling to their land where they live, in addition to the girl who works in fishing, which symbolizes the challenge of society. As for the boy’s escape from his friends, and he made more than one attempt to find him, it symbolizes the nature of the volatile conditions of Gaza, and that Gaza is the homeland We have to make our dreams come true.”
Director Manal Barakat, artistic director of Budour Theatre, begins her speech by saying: “This play is part of a program from children for children, and it is one of the basic programs offered by Budour Theater for Culture and Arts with the aim of developing children’s abilities and giving them the opportunity to discover themselves, know their needs, and show them in a creative artistic way. on the stage”.
As for the reason behind choosing the port as the venue for the play’s events, Barakat says: “The port is the only breathing place for the people of Gaza because it is besieged, especially in light of the power outage.”
“My role in the play is to participate in the design of the idea and crystallize it on the stage, and we look at it from such an angle to put it in the appropriate template. I also have a broad vision and vision capable of defining my artistic goal related to the decoration. What is required, and this in itself is a difficult thing that not everyone is good at, I am preparing the actor, preparing the script, and preparing the entire work from decor and script,” she said.
She added, “We did a preliminary show for the parents to see how the play had an impact on the student, as the parents were surprised by the performance of their children’s students, which enhances their energy and their relationship with their parents, not to mention the nature of discharge therapy.”
She concluded her speech by saying: “About what distinguishes “Hashtag”, Barakat confirms that it is the first purely feminist work. We three worked as a theater of seeds without males. We are three directors in one feminist work to enhance the feminist side in drama, theater and art.”
In turn, Ola Salem, the administration official at Bodour Theater and the owner of the animation program in the theater, says: “We have 15 years of experience in the field of theater, drama, animation and storyteller. We have benefited from many courses, both inside and outside Gaza, and carried out many workshops in Agency schools, local associations, and many plays.”
As for her role in the play, she says, “I help with coordination, management, vision of the decor, text, and discussion of the idea. As for “hashtag”, it is the first theatrical work for Budour, which is licensed by the Ministry of Culture with a simple, somewhat self-financing, and we three are an integrated institution.”
She went on to say about the difficulties they face: “We are still at the beginning of the road. We need time for people to know us and trust the quality of art that we offer, in addition to the problem of funding, and the society’s view of us as outputs, which began to move towards positive gradually. We seek to own a theater Our own, and a drama school to graduate generations capable of acting and artistic giving, thus enhancing the role of theater and its cultural importance, because of its role in addressing issues away from stereotypes.”
She concluded her speech by saying: “We also seek to employ theater in the Palestinian curriculum, whether as animation, drama or storyteller, to break the educational routine, such as the use of dramatic games for the curriculum and in study subjects such as the use and representation of the planets game in the solar system in the science subject to facilitate their understanding and enhance students’ technical abilities.”