Four months have passed since the Caravan project began its first phase, which included storytelling workshops allowing Syrian refugees to share the stories they’d like the world to hear. These workshops provided an open space for participants to share their stories and experiences of leaving Syria and integrating into the Lebanese society. Working with women, men and children from four different camps in West Bekaa area, the Caravan managed to record thirteen stories depicting participants’ experiences of love, belonging, grief and hope.
Towards the end of April, the Caravan launched its second phase: selecting actors who’ll be performing at the Caravan’s tour. After two days of auditions, the casting process ended with selecting 30 young men and a young woman. After that, The Caravan started the preparation and rehearsals process for the final performance. The rehearsals phase included an intensive 2-days workshop auditions, which narrowed down the cast to ten out of the thirty young men – and one young woman- selected earlier. The cast is Dergham, Hanan, Ahmed, Sayyed, Ali, Aboudi, Yousuf and Mohammed. Their ages range from thirteen to twenty. Here’s a sneak peek of the Caravan’s casting process.
The rehearsals that are held daily start usually with an intensive theatrical exercise from 9am to 1 pm. Now the actors, along with the Caravan artistic team, are working on creating and rehearsing the play that will be performed in the streets. They have chosen 8 stories from the stories recorded earlier during the storytelling workshops. With the help of the Caravan’s artistic team, the chosen young actors are the ones creating the plays to accompany the recorded stories with their incredible imagination and creativity. Most of the props that are being used in the performance were also found in the camp. The young actors happen to employ a lot of physical theater as well as other forms, such as puppetry, grotesque theater, theater of the oppressed, mask and clowning. Check out one of the Caravan’s rehearsal sessions
However, as the group can’t move freely in Lebanon due to their residency papers, the Caravan has decided to have another professional Syrian cast to spread the stories to other places. This team will be performing the caravan’s play in the Lebanese area, which the camp team can’t perform at due to their residency status. They will be performing the same play rehearsed in the Bekaa camp, in addition to doing the same props. This will be the first steer theater experience for most of them. Meet the Caravan’s second cast.