Drama Academy Ramallah
Establishment of the First Drama Academy in Palestine
The cultural sector in the Palestinian territories has been severely neglected as a result of the problematic political framework there. Professional theatre and performing arts academies had never existed in the West Bank. In order to change this situation, Stiftung Mercator and the Folkwang University established the Drama Academy Ramallah within the framework of an initiative launched by former German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, called "Zukunft für Palästina" (A Future for Palestine) in conjunction with the Al-Kasaba Theatre. The objective is to promote cultural cooperation and, by way of measures which have a visible impact, to support the peace process in the Middle East.
Structure and Organization
The first course at the Drama Academy Ramallah commenced in October 2009 and there will be 15 places for students every year. The course takes three years to complete and satisfies the criteria for a bachelor degree. The first aptitude tests were held in Palestine in summer 2009 by lecturers from the Folkwang University and Palestinian lecturers.
The Drama Academy is affiliated to the Al-Kasaba Theatre whose director, George Ibrahim, is also Head of the Drama Academy. He is supported and advised in artistic and educational matters by Folkwang University's professor of drama, Johannes Klaus. The project manager is Dr Volkmar Clauss, former theatre director and an expert on the regional drama scene.
In order to enhance the students' awareness of other cultural traditions and promote international contacts, the curriculum includes a thorough acting and directing education, exposes the students to other arts such as film, graphic arts, literature and music and enables the reciprocal exchange of drama productions with cooperation partners.