Golden Thread presented NO SUMMARY: Theatre from the Streets of Palestine, India, and Venezuela livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 24 September 2021 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
On August 1 2021, Theatre from the Streets was launched as an international pilot program aiming to bring forth truthful stories and realities of the people of Palestine, India, and Venezuela to contrast biased political and mainstream narratives. The program continues on every Sunday through October 17, 2021 hosting readings of short theatre works from the streets to create conversations across borders with global audiences. No Summary invites writer and theatre critic Mona Merhi to moderate a conversation with two of the project partners, Iman Aoun the co-founder and artistic director of ASHTAR Theatre in Ramallah, Palestine and Melody Brooks, the founder and artistic director of New Perspectives Theatre Company in New York to tell us about this international collaboration, what prompted them to start the project, what are some of their major discoveries, and how they are envisioning the future of the program.
IMAN AOUN (She/Her) is an award-winning theatre, TV, and movie actress. She holds a bachelors degree in social studies and a diploma in psychodrama. She started her acting career in 1984, with Hakawati Theatre Company. Co-founder ASHTAR Theatre in 1991. Iman has received various notifications for her work from different countries and international organizations and festivals including being recognized as a finalist at the Gilder/Coigney Award—NYC in 2020. She runs ASHTAR International Youth Theatre Festival since 2012, is an international Theatre of the Oppressed trainer, and initiator of various international projects: One Hundred Artist for Palestine in 2003 with IETM, The Gaza Mono-Logues in 2010 and The Syrian Monologues in 2015.
MELODY BROOKS (She/Her) is the founder and Artistic Director of New Perspectives Theatre Company. She is an award-winning producer, director and dramaturg who has been working in the professional theatre and various educational institutions for forty years. Brooks received the 2018 Trailblazing Women & Arts Institutions Award from Rhythm Color Associates and the Spirit of Hope Award in 2015 from Speranza Theatre Company for her career-long support of women theatre artists. She is a board member with the League of Professional Theatre Women, and was co-chair of the triennial LPTW Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award in 2014 and 2017 and executive producer of the virtual 2020 program.
MONA MEHRI (She/Her) is a doctoral teaching associate at the University of Washington. She is a writer, researcher, TV producer, theatremaker, and a cultural manager. Being a theatre critic in many local and regional newspapers in the Arab world, Mona published articles about diversified performance landscapes. She was involved in research projects relating to cultural policies. She has presented her work at the UCLA Center for Performance Studies, Maryland University's Revels and Rebels Virtual Symposium, and the Association for Theatre and Higher Education (ATHE). Mona received the Simpson Center for the Humanities Cluster support grant and the Michael Quinn Writing Prize for 2021.