August 18, 2011

Artists against Israel's attack on Jenin theatre

This isn't news now but I only just received the following press release from "Friends of Jenin Freedom Theatre:


New York, N.Y., August 17, 2011—More than 260 artists and supporters of the arts—including dozens of prominent playwrights, actors, directors, filmmakers, producers and theater professors from the U.S., New Zealand, Israel, England and other countries—have signed a public letter to Israeli authorities decrying the Israeli military’s attacks on The Freedom Theatre in Jenin, a northern city in the West Bank, Palestine.

The statement was hand-delivered today to the Israeli Mission in New York and the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. The U.S. artists include Edward Albee and Tony Kushner, Pulitzer prize-winning playwrights; actors Susan Sarandon, Olympia Dukakis, Alec Baldwin, Mandy Patinkin, Kathleen Chalfant and Mercedes Ruehl; prominent theater educators such as James Bundy of the Yale Drama School and Catherine Coray and Mark Wing-Davey of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

A total of 267 artists and supporters of the arts community signed the protest, which called the Theatre “a beacon for artistic expression, offering youth in Jenin a safe space in which to express themselves, and to explore their creativity and emotions.”

The statement urged the Israeli military authorities to release those arrested or make their charges public and to pay compensation for  the buildings that were damaged.

 (A full statement and a list of all the signers can be found at the end of this release.)

The open letter follows an Israeli army attack on the Jenin-based theater that occurred on July 27 at 3:30 a.m. during which soldiers hurled rocks at the building, knocking out many of the windows.  The theater’s facilities manager was arrested, along with the president of the theater’s Jenin Board, whose home was also damaged.
On August 5, Israeli forces blindfolded and arrested a 20-year old acting student, part of The Freedom Theatre’s young acting troupe, at a checkpoint near Jenin.

“We have been very concerned about the health and safety of our colleagues since their arrests,” said Constancia Dinky Romilly, President of the NY-based support group, Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre.
“Our supporters,” Romilly continued, “have been calling the authorities in Jenin and in Washington but no one has given us any information about their condition or the charges facing them, if there are any.  This is a truly shocking attack on a cultural institution in Palestine and one more horrific example of what goes on in a country under occupation.

For further information, call Jen Marlowe at 202-375-3492.

A full statement and list of signatories follows.

We the undersigned, members and supporters of the arts community, deplore the recent attacks in Jenin on The Freedom Theatre, its people and property. The Freedom Theatre is a beacon for artistic expression, offering youth in Jenin a safe space in which to express themselves, and to explore their creativity and emotions. The Theatre has the following admirable goals:

-To raise the quality of performing arts and cinema in the area.

-To offer a space in which children and youth can act, create and express themselves freely, imagining new realities and challenging existing political, social and cultural barriers.

-To empower the young generation to use the arts to promote positive change in their community.

-To break the cultural isolation that separates Jenin from the wider Palestinian and global communities.

To our dismay, the Israeli military attacked The Freedom Theatre in the Jenin Refugee Camp at 3:30 a.m. on July 27, 2011, hurling rocks at its building and damaging windows.  During this raid, they arrested Adnan Naghnaghiye, the Theatre's facilities manager, and then went to the home of Bilal Saadi, the President of the Theatre's Board in Jenin, and arrested him after damaging his home.  Charges against them have not been made public.

On August 6, 2011, while at a checkpoint crossing with members of the Theatre's acting troupe, soldiers of the Israeli military arrested, handcuffed and blindfolded Rami Awni Hwayel, a 20-year old third-year acting student.

Calls to the military authorities to get information about all three have yielded no information.

We call on the Israeli government either to make public any charges against the three Freedom Theatre personnel or release them immediately.  In addition, we insist that the Israeli military pay damages for the destruction to the Theatre and to Mr. Saadi's home.

We call on all supporters of the arts everywhere, including our fellow artists and supporters of the arts in Israel, to support The Freedom Theatre as an inspiring source of cultural understanding and artistic hope and to demand that attacks against it cease.

Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre
P.O. Box 592
Tarrytown, NY 10592
917- 991 -5653
Affliliations for Identification Only
Kathleen Chalfant, actor, New York
Henry Chalfant, filmmaker/photographer, New York
James Bundy, Dean/Artistic Director,Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre, Connecticut
Miriam Margolyes, actor, London, UK
Lucy Sexton, Producer, New York
John Tydeman, O.B.E., Drama Director, Former Head BBC Radio, UK
Clare Coss, Playwright, New York
Karen Malpede, playwright/director, New York
George Bartenieff, actor/producer/director, New York
Joanne Beretta, singer, New York
Austin Pendleton, actor,director, playwright, teacher of acting, New York
Michael Cumpsty, actor/teacher, New York
Michele Zackheim, writer, New York
Ben Rivers, psychotherapist, applied theater specialist, California
Andrew Courtney, citizen, artist, photographer, New York
Ben Aylsworth, senior producer CBC TV, Ontario, Canada
Richard Congress, author, music producer, adjunct professor, New York
Adam Z. Grumbach, teacher, arts supporter, New York
Corey Johnson, actor, student, California
Lisa Fender, TV producer, CBC, Toronto, Canada
Carol Horwitz, arts supporter, New York
Haifa Staiti, arts supporter, Vancouver, Canada
Heidi Rosbe, amateur film maker, One Brave Thing, New York
Catherine Coray, arts professor, NYU TSOA Dept of Drama, director & curator, New York
Heather Davis, student, art writer, Montreal, Canada
Ann Cook, arts supporter, New York
Jenny Heinz, arts supporter, psychotherapist, New York
Jeremy Lawrence, actor, playwright, New York
Betty Shamieh, writer, New York
Bettina Aptheker, writer, professor, New York
Barbara Harvey, lawyer, arts supporter, Michigan
Detroit Chapter, Jewish Voice for Peace, Michigan
Barbara Howard, New York Theatre Workshop, arts supporter, New York
Vic Ulmer, educator, California
Barby Ulmer, educator, California
Waris Hussein, film,TV, theatre  director
Grace Said, arts supporter, Maryland
Ahmad Shirazi, filmmaker, film appraiser, New York
Ann Shirazi, freelance illustrator, film appraiser, New York
John Erickson, arts supporter, Northern California Friends of Sabeel, California
Barbara Erickson, arts supporter, Northern California Friends of Sabeel, California
Jeff Jones, arts supporter, New York
Jane Stillwater, writer, actor, California
Helen Engelhardt, independent audio documentary producer, poet, writer, storyteller, New York
Kathleen Russo, producer, New York
Joan Countryman, arts supporter, Rhode Island
Christine Jones, artistic director Theatre for One, New York
Jeanie Shaterian, arts supporter, California
Joan Vieira, teacher, Texas
Brad Chamberlain, arts supporter, Washington
Nora Lapin, arts supporter, New York
Nitin Sawhney, Ph.D., assistant professor media studies, New School for Public Engagement, NY
Tony Litwinko, writer, editor, friend of the arts, California
Salam Al-Rawi, arts supporter, New York
Kelly L. Grotke, PhD, academic & friend of the arts, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law, Finland
Catherine Hanna, director, teaching artist -theater arts specialist, New York
Bruce Robbins, arts supporter, professor, Columbia University, New York
Mohammad Sabaaneh, cartoonist, Palestine
Graham MacPhee, PhD, academic, arts supporter, Pennsylvania
Annick Le Floc’hmoan, arts supporter, France
Sunaina Maira, professor, writer, arts supporter, California
Ruth Tracy, arts supporter, Ohio
Allen Bergson, arts supporter, New York
Deirdre Bergson, arts supporter, writer, New York
Elly Bulkin, arts supporter, New Jersey
Kathy Engel, poet, teacher, activist, New York
Sybille Pearson, playwright, teacher, New York
William Ota, retired high school math teacher, arts supporter, California
Katherine Wilson, Middle East Studies Organization, Graduate Center/City University of New York
Vivian Zelaya, arts supporter, California
Mercedes Ruehl, actor, New York
Patricia Ann Abraham, arts supporter, South Carolina
Marjorie Wright, filmmaker, producer, New York
Mark Russell, director of the under the radar festival, The Public Theater, New York
Nejwa Ali, arts supporter, New York
Hazel Kahan, artist, writer, radio host, New York
Robert Bethem, arts supporter, California
Sloan Shelton, arts supporter,
Zamir Havkin, arts supporter, Israel
WESPAC, New York
Oskar Eustice, Artistic Director, the Public Theater, New York
Tony Kushner, playwright, New York
David Henry Hwang, playwright, New York
Mandy Patinkin, actor, singer, New York
Maria Goyanes, Associate Producer the Public Theater, New York
Richard Sentner, Jr., arts supporter, Massachusetts
Simone Zelitch, novelist, Pennsylvania
Suzanne Gardinier, writer, New York
Shaina Low, arts supporter, New York
Silvia Tennenbaum, writer,
Evelyn Crawford, arts supporter, Georgia
Sheila Slater, arts supporter, New York
Scott Kennedy, arts supporter, California
Terri Ginsberg, Ph.D., college professor - cinema studies Board member, International Council for Middle East Studies, New York
Maria Tucci, actor, New York
Naila Alatrash, theatre director, actress, Syria
Jane Adas, retired professor of music, New Jersey
Jennifer Little, actor, director, educator, New Jersey
Jonathan House, MD, arts supporter, New York
Michael Ratner, attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York
Terry Weber, teacher, arts supporter, New York
Matthew Lombard, attorney, California
Jan Bauman, retired photographer and arts supporter, California
Leopold Lambert, architect, writer, New York
Clemency Burton-Hill, actor, writer, broadcaster, New York/UK
Sarah Schulman, playwright, New York
Orel Protopopescu, author, poet, New York
Mark Wing-Davey, Chair, Graduate Acting, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
Martha Mangan, arts supporter, New York
Mangalika de Silva, arts supporter, New York
Michael Levin, musician, Illinois
Anne Bogart, Artistic Director SITI Company, Professor Columbia University, New York
Janet M. Fishman, actress, playwright, professor University of the Arts, Pennsylvania
Lisa Schlesinger, playwright, Illinois & Iowa
Caitlin Stilin-Rooney, arts supporter, Pennsylvania
Bob Zellner, writer, New York
N.M.B. Piette, arts supporter, The Netherlands
Khalid Franklin, arts supporter, New York
Willemijn Lamp, cultural entrepreneur, journalist, The Netherlands
Karin Pally, arts supporter, California
Pamela Cullerton, arts supporter, Illinois
Steven Fake, background/extra worker in film industry, arts supporter, Louisiana
Caridad Svitch, playwright, New York
Nikhil Aziz, Executive Director, Grassroots International, Massachusetts
Diane Lefer, author, playwright, California
Karen Platt, arts supporter, California
Chiori Miyagawa, playwright, educator, Bard College, New York
Judy Richardson, documentary filmmaker, Massachusetts
Jason Grote, playwight & television writer, New York
Elizabeth Hess, performer, playwright, professor, New York
Jane Hirschmann, arts supporter, New York
Richard Levy, artist, civil rights lawyer, New York
Margaret R. Zellner, Ph.D., L.P., psychoanalyst, behavioral neuroscientist, arts supporter, NY
Brian Pickett, theatre teacher, New York
William Tracy, editor, Washington
Shane Ann Younts, voice and speech teacher, NYU, dialect coach Broadway, New York
Iman Aoun, artistic director, Ashtar Theatre, Palestine
Cornelia McGiver, arts supporter, New York
Nhu Miller, arts supporter, California
Tom Miller, arts supporter, California
Roberto Gutiérrez Varea, theater director, Associate Professor, Performing Arts and Social Justice, University of San Francisco, California
Stephanie Gilman, educator, New York
Brenda Wehle, actor, New York
Edith Cacciatore, arts supporter,
Stephan Wolf-Schönburg, actor, acting teacher at The Freedom Theatre, Germany
J. Ed Araiza, actor, director, playwright, New York
Diana Wilson, musician/arts supporter/peaceseeker, California
David McReynolds, arts supporter, New York
Noelle Ghoussaini, playwright, director, arts educator, New York
Joyce Kozloff, artist, New York
Kathy Roberts, arts supporter, Massachusetts
Elspeth Murray, Company Manager, Puppet State Theatre Company, Scotland
Doris Soroko, writer, New York
Eldad Benary, sound engineer, supporter of the arts and of human rights, New York
Rich Siegel, musician/songwriter, RS Musical Services, New Jersey
Josh Perlstein, actor, director, university professor, Massachusetts
Esti Marpet, arts supporter, New York
Tom Freudenheim, arts supporter, New York
Louis Williams, arts supporter, Israel
Sarah Patterson, arts supporter, New York
Donald Patterson, arts supporter, New York
Susan Lourenco, arts supporter, Israel
Dyala Husseini, arts supporter,
Monica Raymond, writer, Massachusetts
Mary Dwan, painter, poet and clinical psychologist, British Virgin Islands
Theodora Skipitares, theater director, New York
Nancy Fleischer, arts supporter, California
Jeremy Kamps, writer, educator, New York
Gideon Spiro, journalist, peace and human rights activist, Israel
Rafael Magnes, photographer, New York
Ify Nwokoye, yoga teacher, Connecticut
Miriam Adams, Retired science/reference librarian/ researcher/Painter /cello player /arts supporter, New Mexico
Frank A. Walter, arts supporter
Sharon Mazer, Associate Professor, Head, Theatre & Film Studies, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Camila Perez Bustillo, Lead Attorney, International Tribunal of Conscience, Pueblos en Movimiento, Mexico
Dorinda Moreno, poet, performer, U.S. Liaison and Rep, FuerzaMundial, TICPM, and Hitec Aztec Communications, California
Jose Galvan Galvan, director, actor, Mexico
Ron Jenkins, professor of theater, Wesleyan University, Connecticut
Betty G. Robinson, arts supporter, Maryland
Carolyn Harris, arts supporter, California
Gordon Fellman, professor of sociology, Brandeis University, Massachusetts
Thomas Haley, photo-journalist, Sipa Press, France
Meredith Whitford, writer, arts supporter, Australia
Carol F. Yost, writer, visual artist, student of acting and other arts, New York
Staughton Lynd, historian, lawyer, Ohio
Elizabeth Baker, art educator, Maryland
Roni Ben Efrat, writer, teacher, editor, Israel
Naomi Wallace, playwright, Kentucky
Kate Taverna, filmmaker, New York
Aline Alterman, librarian, philosopher, poet, France
Jackie Miller, theatre artist, New York
Libbie Frank, arts supporter and activist, Pennsylvania
Dorothy Burlage, PhD, child psychologist, Massachusetts
Susan Miller, arts supporter, Israeli citizen, Pennsylvania
Hanna Braun, arts supporter, UK
Karen Leonard, arts supporter, California
Ray Wofsy, arts supporter, New York
Rob Orchard, Performing Arts Department, Emerson College, Massachusetts
Susan Richards, artist, Pennsylvania
Judith Ackerman, actress, teacher, New York
Lillian Rosengarten, poet, writer, teacher, psychoanalyst, New York
Pam Benvenue, arts supporter, Georgia
Judith B. Solomon, ceramist, New York
Phyllis Bloom, arts supporter, New York
Sturgis Warner, theatre director, New York
Sherry Alpern, arts supporter, New York
Joel Simpson, photographer, New Jersey
Gloria Montero, novelist, playwright, Spain
David Fulton, arts supporter, Spain
John Roger Hammond, arts supporter,
Susan Sarandon, actor, New York
Andrew N. Rubin, professor, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Alec Baldwin, actor, New York
Douglas Humble, residency manager, arts supporter, Texas
Jennifer Natalya Fink, writer, professor, Georgetown University, Washington DC
Sut Jhally , Executive Director, Media Education Foundation, Professor of Communication, UMASS-Amherst, Massachusetts
Kendra Hodgson, Media Education Foundation, Massachusetts
Susan Windle, poet, Pennsylvania
Dr. Wendy Galson, filmmaker and school psychologist, Pennsylvania
Leila Buck, actress, writer, teaching artist, New York
Joyce Ravitz, retired educator, arts supporter, New York
Robert Croonquist, arts supporter, New York
Fritzie Brown, Executive Director, CEC ArtsLink, New York
Hector Leonardi, artist, New York
Daniel McCarey, arts supporter, Massachusetts
The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB), New York
Kathryn Levy, poet, arts educator, New York
Charlie Cooper, arts supporter, Maryland
Joan Cooper, arts supporter, Maryland
Adam Mathias Bittlingmayer, software engineer, arts supporter, California
Sarah Dillner, Executive Assistant, Schooner Capital, Massachusetts
Vin Ryan, Chairman, Schooner Capital, Massachusetts
Jean Stein, arts supporter, New York
Edward Albee, playwright, New York
Etienne Balibar, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Université Paris-Nanterre
Distinguished Professor of Humanities, University of California, Irvine, France
George Beres, arts supporter, writer, Oregon
John McGillion, arts supporter,
Colleen Fitzpatrick, arts supporter, California
Hania Toubasi, arts supporter,
Amal Eqeiq, arts supporter, Washington
Skip Schiel, photographer, writer, and filmmaker, Massachusetts
James E. Vann, architect, arts supporter, California
Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, theatre director, Professor of Theatre and Film, Siena College, New York
Anne Remley, writer and arts supporter,
J Christine Yau, marketing, arts supporter, California
Leslie Angeline, arts supporter, California
Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights
Carol Ann Clouston, Prof. of Voice & Speech, American University in Cairo, Egypt
Stathis Gourgouris, Director of Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University, New York
Nancy Farrell, teacher, arts supporter, Washington
Katie Robbins, National Organizer, Healthcare-NOW!, arts supporter, Pennsylvania
Anita Rapone, arts supporter,
Carole Monferdini, arts supporter, New York
Malkah B. Feldman, Grassroots International, arts supporter, Massachusetts
Victoria Mills, documentary director, New York
Sarika Arya, Yale University Fellow/ Director/ Arts Supporter, New York, UK
Jen Marlowe, filmmaker, playwright, author, Washington
Olympia Dukakis, actor, Jewish Voice for Peace, California
Elizabeth Cross, actor, arts supporter, Florida
Mariam C. Said, editor, arts supporter, New York
Erin B. Mee, Assistant Professor, New York University
Linda S. Chapman, Assistant Artistic Director, New York Theatre Workshop, New York
Kathleen Cleaver, law professor, writer, Georgia
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace, New York

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