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March 29th at 7:30 PM

The Strength in Us

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The Space at Irondale

85 S Oxford Street

Brooklyn, NY 11217

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Join in solidarity with The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, Occupied Palestine at The Strength In Us - a benefit performance presented by Irondale on Friday, March 29 @ 7:30pm at The Space at Irondale located at 85 S Oxford St, Brooklyn, NY 11217.

Organized by The Friends of Jenin Freedom Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Noor Theatre, Waterwell, and 55B, the benefit features artists Fouad Dakwar, emceeing the event, Amel Khalil performing stand-up poetry, and Omar Ahmad sharing music. After the show, there will be a brief talkback with the artists followed by refreshments and DJ set by Omar Ahmad.

This event was originally planned as the second venue on a national tour for Alaa Shehada - graduate of The Freedom Theatre’s Acting School, co-founder of The Palestine Comedy Club, a doctor clown with Red Noses International, and a member of Troupe Courage in Amsterdam. Due to a visa technicality issue, Alaa is currently unable to perform on tour in the United States, and therefore his tour is being postponed. While we navigated this issue, there was a suspension of ticket sales over the weekend (March 16-17).

However, we will carry on with the benefit performance to support the ongoing work of The Freedom Theatre! Ticket sales are live again and all donations and profits from ticket sales will be directed to The Freedom Theatre.

Join us to see an incredible line-up of Palestinian and Palestinian-American artists sharing original work and performing brand new material from The Revolution’s Promise - a collection of testimonies from artists across Palestine. In addition, we will showcase Alaa’s current work with two cinematic shorts about the Palestine Comedy Club and an excerpt from his one-man show The Horse of Jenin. We also look forward to sharing a special message from the Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, Ahmed Tobasi.

Proceeds from The Strength in Us will directly contribute to programming and repairs of The Freedom Theatre, reinforcing its ongoing commitment to create a generation of artists and leaders, who will one day be at the forefront of the Palestinian liberation movement.

The Freedom Theatre is a theatre and cultural center in Jenin refugee camp, Occupied Palestine. They stage professional theatre productions, hold theatre workshops in the refugee camp, Jenin town and villages, offer training in acting, pedagogy and photography, and publish books, exhibitions, and short films. Since opening their doors in 2006, they have made theatre and visual art available to every young person in Jenin refugee camp. The Freedom Theatre has created a generation of artists and leaders, who one day will be at the forefront of the Palestinian liberation movement.

On February 13, 2024, The Freedom Theatre was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In response, they shared: “This nomination is a chance to thank every Palestinian child who, from the stage of The Freedom Theater, inspires and dares us to keep on dreaming… As daily massacres take place in Gaza, invasions continue in the West Bank, and Palestinians face persecution (...), we urge everyone to call for an end to the genocide of Palestinians and to stand up for equality, justice and liberation. Juliano dreamed that the 3rd Intifada would be a cultural one. We thank everyone who has made that dream today’s reality.”

Terry Greiss, Irondale's co-founder and Executive Director says: "We have admired the work of the Freedom Theatre for many years. As Bertolt Brecht said 'in the dark times there will also be singing.' Their work with youth in the refugee camps saves lives. We believe that art making builds bridges and heals communities. We unequivocally condemn violence in any form. We look forward to sharing the work of these artists with audiences here in Brooklyn."

Proceeds from The Strength in Us will directly contribute to programming and repairs of The Freedom Theatre, reinforcing its ongoing commitment to create a generation of artists and leaders, who will one day be at the forefront of the Palestinian liberation movement. If you are unable to attend the event, we invite you to contribute with a fully tax-deductible donation here. Your ticket and donation will support:

- Rebuilding the offices of the theatre that were damaged during the Israeli attack on the theater;
- Repair of roof;
- Replacement of smashed equipment;
- Removal of graffiti left by army troops;
- Removal of rubble in front of theatre left by army bulldozers;
- Keeping productions and educational programs up and running;
- Staff payments;
- Travel costs of productions going to other countries.

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The Friends of Jenin (Event Co-Sponsor) The Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre (USA) is a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting The Freedom Theatre since its inception in 2006. Through fundraising, outreach, touring and advocacy - we raise awareness about and support for the mission and vision of The Freedom Theatre.

Fouad Dakwar is a Palestinian musical theater writer whom Playbill aptly describes as "a darkly comic pop-punk composer on the rise." His semi-autobiographical musical, Fouad of Nazareth, premiered to two sold-out concert fundraisers for Gaza at Joe's Pub, co-produced by Noor Theatre.

Amel Khalil is a Palestinian American writer, comedian, and actor dedicated to empowering marginalized communities in her career and personal life. With notable roles in television shows like Madam Secretary, New Amsterdam, and FBI, Amel showcases her talent while advocating for diverse representation.

Omar Ahmad is a Palestinian American composer, producer, and sound artist. Using a combination of rich recorded instrumentation and live manipulation, his compositions are inspired by the balance between sets of distinct feelings that are paired in the world: empathy and disconnection, loss and discovery, longing and isolation.

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