Freedom Theatre's Quad-State Tour of THE ISLAND Set for UConn, 9/6-7

Freedom Theatre's Quad-State Tour of THE ISLAND Set for UConn, 9/6-7

The Freedom Theatre, an independent cultural center located in the West Bank's Jenin refugee camp, announced through its American support group Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre, that it would tour four states in September with its production of Athol Fugard's award-winning play The Island. The play explores the lives of two prisoners who share a cell during South Africa's apartheid regime. The show will be performed at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, in the Nafe Katter Theatre Sept. 6 at 7 p.m., and Sept. 7 at 2 and 7 p.m. For tickets and information call the box office at 860-486-2113 and visit www.crt.uconn.edu for additional information and to buy tickets online.

"The prison experience is one most Palestinians share, either by being imprisoned themselves or by having a loved one put in an Israeli prison," said Faisal Abu Alhayjaa, one of the production's two Palestinian actors and a resident of Jenin refugee camp. Both Abu Alhayjaa and Ahmad Alrakh are graduates of The Freedom Theatre's Acting School and have toured throughout Europe with various Freedom Theatre productions.

The play is directed by Gary M. English, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Drama at the University of Connecticut, and Artistic Director of TFT from May 2012 - July 2013. English notes that "The Island is political drama at its best, with political ideas embedded within the characters and their experience. It is universal in its themes-including the tragedy of those who anywhere in the world are unjustly imprisoned for purely political reasons, beliefs, or for simply speaking out against injustice."

The tour is co-sponsored by the theatre departments of three universities-the University of Connecticut, Brown University, and Georgetown-and by the New York Theatre Workshop.

The play will open at the Nate Katter Theatre of Connecticut Repertory Theatre, University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT, on September 6 at 7 pm and on September 7 at 2 pm and 7 pm. On September 11 at 7 pm it will appear at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Studio 1, at Brown University in Providence, RI; and on September 16 and September 17 at 7:30 pm at the Devine Studio Theatre at the Davis Performing Arts Center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The final leg of the tour will be four performances in New York at the 4th Street Theatre, 83 E. 4th Street, NYC: September 25, 26 and 27 at 7 p.m., with the closing performance a matinee in Arabic on September 28.

The Freedom Theatre was founded in 2006. One of its founders, Israeli-Palestinian actor Juliano Mer Khamis, was shot dead in broad daylight just steps away from The Freedom Theatre on April 4, 2011. No one has been charged with his murder. Mer Khamis once famously described himself as "100% Palestinian and 100% Jewish."

Ticket information is available through the Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre at friends@thefreedomtheatre.org.

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