On Earth Performers Drama Club for kids met throughout the Fall to explore issues that affect their lives and communities. Children from Gaza, Palestine and the United States designed and performed skits on topics including friendship, bullying, environmental justice, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. During the duration of On Earth Performers Drama Club, the children engaged in various drama games, arts and crafts, storytelling, script writing and many more fun activities. This was a chance for children to make friends around the world and create performances and stories around themes of social justice, peace, identity and equality.
Interns Simi Gill and Haya Saleh led the drama club, offering skills in acting, community formation, and language interpretation. Over the eight sessions, the children developed stories and characters themselves and performed their narratives during the showcase event.
In December, On Earth Performers Drama Club presented their showcase via Zoom. After all the children had performed, there was a Q&A with the cast, where audience members were invited to ask the performers about their work and the sessions. The audience even got a chance to participate in some of the games they engaged in during their practice sessions leading up to their showcase. The audience quickly noticed that no language barrier could not keep them from having fun together!
Simi Gill, our Children's Peace Formation Organizer, has an extensive background in children's development and drama and theater. She has a Master's degree in Applied Theater and is currently working at Little Angel Theater and Half Moon Theatre in London, United Kingdom, which create puppetry theater for young children and their families. Gill says, “Reflecting on On Earth Performers Drama Club, it has been so wonderful to watch the children and young people explore their imagination and creativity and develop their confidence and interpersonal skills. It has been such a delight to introduce them to the world of drama and allow them the space to create and voice their own stories alongside having fun and making friends. I hope all the children, their families and friends are incredibly proud of the amazing stories and performances they created.”
Please join us for a self-care event focused on children and trauma on Friday, 17th February at 2 pm EST and 11 am PST.
Haya Saleh who had a key role in the On Earth Performers Drama Club is a Kingian Nonviolence Fellow at On Earth Peace located in Gaza, Palestine and who practices the Kingian frameworks in her local community. Saleh has a Bachelor in teaching English as a second language and have been teaching teenagers at her home country for a while. Saleh role in the Drama Club was to interpret for the children who speak Arabic as their first language. When asked about her role Saleh said, “It was an interesting and challenging experience yet it was rewarding. I enjoyed watching the kids break through the language barrier to connect and communicate. It was such a lovely experience that left the kids with higher self esteem, confidence and communication skills. One of the kids’ parents shared how proud she was for seeing her daughter practice her English as a second language without being judged nor bashed. She added about how the multi lingual context of the sessions made both of her daughters think outside the box and come up with their own creative scenarios.”
This was an experience that not only enriched the children minds but also the mind and souls of our intern and fellow who went above and beyond to provide the best experience for these children.