In a first-ever collaboration, two leading theatre groups from India and Palestine will come up with a joint production later this year. Indian theatre group Jana Natya Manch (Janam) and Palestine's The Freedom Theatre (TFT) from Jenin will stage their play from December to January. The Freedom Theatre, one of Palestine's leading theatre groups, will fly to India in November to train with Indian theatre experts for the play, which will then be staged in over 10 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and three places in Kerala. Faisal Abu Alhayjaa from TFT and Sudhanva Deshpande from Janam will direct the play which is still at the discussion stage. Various theatre and art groups are partnering to stage this collaboration across the country. "Over 20 different cultural organisations are partnering with Janam to make this tour happen. A number of artistes are willing to associate with the production," Sudhanva said. In Mumbai, Junoon theatre lead by Sanjna Kapoor, Prerna from Patna, Puppet theatre Katkatha, Samudaya in Bengaluru will partner for the project. "This is a really important journey, where people from two countries get to meet each other, through performance. Palestine will meet India in this totally unique and wonderful way," said Sanjna. The play is expected to be a mix of Hindi as well as Arabic. "We want our art to speak for us.
The play will be conveyed from heart-to-heart. I know we will be able to develop a good connect with Indian audiences," said Faisal. The tour, a result of direct dialogue between artistes of the two countries, got the support of actress Sharmila Tagore. "This artistic collaboration is taking place without the mediation of any funding agency or international organisation is more exciting still- this is a direct dialogue between artistes of the two kindred civilisation," Tagore said in a statement. Janam was founded by Safdar Hashmi in 1973 who was killed during a performance in Jhandapur in 1989. Marking his 27th death anniversary the collaboration will organise a special show on January 1, 2016. Similarly like Janam, the founder of TFT Juliano Mer Khamis, was shot dead outside the theatre in 2011 and to pay tribute to him the play will also be performed in Palestine on April 4, 2016 with Indian artistes flying to Jenin.