Khashabi Theatre - A New Palestinian Theatre in Haifa
Khashabi Ensemble (Khashabi in Arabic means “wood” or “stage”) was created in 2011 by a group of young Palestinian theatre professionals in Haifa who sought to challenge the traditional forms of art in the community. After three years of activity, the ensemble has established its own space: the Khashabi Ensemble Theatre. The theatre is located in an old Ottoman building in the historic Wadi Salib area of downtown Haifa.
In view of the lack of cultural spaces and activities that could allow the Palestinian population in Haifa to revive and preserve its unique identity and heritage, the theatre now offers a space where Palestinians can be free to create and experiment, to challenge existing norms, empower the local community, and examine Palestinian identity.
As part of its ideology, the Khashabi Ensemble uses the “Theatre Lab” method, a dynamic and holistic approach, which puts great emphasis on the process and on involving members of the community who typically do not participate in political artistic production. It combines interviews, research and improvisation into a unique theatre production and aims to generate cooperation with community members, stimulate critical dialogue, and question preconceived ideas in the Israeli society.
In 2015, under the theme of “Haifa: Between History and Current Realities,” the Khashabi Ensemble Theatre aimed to bring attention to the history and current hardships faced by Palestinians in this city. Supported by the Israel office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, this was the first project conducted by the Khashabi Ensemble in their new theatre.