After working online with so many different groups of children and their teachers in Gaza over the past two years, it was such a joy to meet some of them face to face last week when I finally managed to get there in person. The British Council and UNRWA organised a wonderful conference where Scott Thornbury and I both gave plenary workshops for the 250 Gazan teachers of English who attended.
We were also treated to performances of song, dance and theatre by the 50 children who were also there. It was while watching this play, written and performed by Gazan children that I had an idea for the first Hands Up Project competition.
The competition is open to any children and young people in Palestine aged 15 or under who are attending UNRWA or Ministry of Education schools. The task is to write and perform an original play in English which is maximum 5 minutes long and which has a maximum of 5 actors. Any groups who would like to submit an application need to send a video recording of the performance, together with the written script to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st December 2017. Videos longer than 5 minutes long, with more than 5 actors (1 actor may play more than one character of course), or submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. The best entries will be published in a book and the videos published on youtube. Entries will be judged on both the quality of the performance, as well as the quality of the writing. The panel of judges will choose one entry to be the overall winner and the actors from this entry and their teacher will be invited to perform the play at the Hands Up Project conference which will take place in London in early 2018.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be writing a couple of posts which will focus on some of the language learning benefits of writing and performing a play in English to help you through the process. The very best of luck to you all! 🙂