Reflecting on Palestinian Theatre: A Resilient Theatre of Resistance

Samer Al-Saber, Yana Taylor


Samer Al-Saber, a historian of theatre in Palestine and Yana Taylor, theatre-maker and dramaturg with extensive experience in devising documentary theatre in Australia, began a conversation about ‘issues-based’ theatre and when it does or does not have salience beyond the confines of an actual theatre event. It became apparent the history of the occupation of Palestine has so thoroughly shaped arts practice there that the very existence of theatre is in itself a critical ‘issue’ for those intimately involved in its making. Our conversation pivots around the operations of power at work over the last four decades for both artists and audiences in the Palestinian context, a period during which the media environment has changed radically. This offered a valuable touchstone in this example of a body of ‘resistant theatre’ that continues to adapt and evolve. What follows is not so much a transcript as a rendering of a discussion which took place on 1 March 2014; it takes from several key parts and this edited version was agreed between us.

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Dean, Jodi. The Communist Horizon (London: Verso, 2012).


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