The Palestinian National Theatre – El Hakawati – is eager to enrich the Palestinian theatre production. In light of that, it prepares, executes, and presents numerous theatrical productions that target different groups annually, with no less than five theatrical plays per year.
The presented works by the theatre are a mixture of improvisations, writing of new plays, and adopting the works of Arab and Palestinian writers, in addition to preparing and translating international theatrical shows. In most cases, the core of the theatre’s productions is centered on social issues and political concerns. They, nonetheless, focus on artistic works from contemporary sources, traditional culture, and Arab and Palestinian literature.
The theatre’s productions are divided into the following categories:
Direct Play Shows
These are the plays that are produced by the theatre in cooperation with artists, artistic groups, and technicians from the wide network of the friends of the theatre. In this domain, the theatre has produced tens of works that became a trademark of the Palestinian theatre and culture, and that contributed in the development of the artistic and career development of many Palestinian artists and technicians.
Youth Play Shows – Network of the Friends of the Theatre
These are a series of drama workshops that were especially designed to produce plays that are inspired by the participating youth to use their creativity to influence other youth in their societies. The programme of those workshops start by a drama course that runs for a month, and interested candidates are then able to participate in a series of further workshops that run for six weeks, before they participate in a tour of ten shows (minimum) that run for two weeks themselves.
This programme models as a highly interesting opportunity for the youth and for drama teachers to work as directors for the youth theatre. It also grants the youth who are interested in taking a career in dramatic production to become members of the network of the friends of the theatre, which allows them to become broadly involved in the activities and productions of the theatre, as they get invited to every training and opening show by the theatre, and are always consulted on issues that interest not only the children and youth community, but also the Palestinian community in general.
Tours and Shows
The “EL Hakawati” troop, which later on established the Palestinian National Theatre – El Hakawati, managed to go on its first international tour in 1970, marking the history for the first Palestinian theatre group to take the Palestinian drama around the world. The Palestinian National Theatre, ever since, runs local, regional, and international shows that present hundreds of theatre works in most of the world’s cities and capitals, all the way from Tokyo to Alaska.
On the local level, the Palestinian National Theatre presents its shows in every Palestinian camp, village, and city, whether in the west bank, or the occupied Palestinian lands of 1948, as it presents around 200 shows through these tours (local and international).
The Palestinian National Theatre has taken the Mobile Theatre initiative to break the siege on the city of Jerusalem, to help the audience enjoy theatre productions, and to reinforce the relationship between the theatre and its audience. The Mobile Theatre has allowed hundreds of art shows to be presented to the Palestinian audience in all camps, villages, and cities through the theatre’s cooperation with artistic and cultural Palestinian institutes.
The Palestinian National Theatre – El Hakawati – presents 100 shows with 10,000 audience members yearly. It also presents 120 theatre shows for school students that are attended by 30,000 students, and a minimum of 10 workshops with 150 youth participants, and finally 20 graduation parties and community activities for 6,000 participants.