“We welcome your work as an educational theatrical method for our students, especially for our young generation who has been involved in war and conflict.”
Bond Street Theatre has been working in Afghanistan since 2003. Our goal is to introduce theatre-based educational programs in Afghanistan, especially targeting women and girls who have few outlets for creative expression, and to help revitalize the performing arts after years of cultural repression.
"I want more of these programs so that Afghan women can show people here and everywhere that they can do anything." – Ruhia, Afghanistan
History & Projects
Bond Street Theatre disseminates effective theatre-based practices that address conflict prevention, reconciliation, and innovative approaches to peacebuilding, through workshops and collaborations with Arts Partners and NGO Partners, featuring outreach programs for adults and youth, and business training to ensure sustainability.
2010-2012 - the Theatre for Social Development project trained four Afghan theatre companies, created four new all-women's troupes, and improved their capacity to create & tour informational plays, particularly to isolated areas where illiteracy is high.
2006-2009 - The US-Afghan Arts Exchange and Conflict Resolution Project facilitated artistic exchange between Afghan, Indian, and US theatre artists. The groups presented their play, A Kite's Tale, about children's rights throughout India, along with uplifting workshops for rural women, street children, and other disadvantaged groups.
2008 - BST worked with Aschiana in Mazar-i-Sharif using theatre techniques to improve education and build self-confidence for street-working children and to empower local women.
2007 - BST conducted a workshop program for Aschiana in Kabul, focusing on self-confidence, self-expression, and group cooperation, and trained a theatre group at Mediothek Center in Kunduz.
2005 - BST completed two residencies at Kabul University, teaching students and preparing a collaborative production Beyond The Mirror with Exile Theatre, the first ever Afghan-US collaboration. The production premiered in Kabul and toured in Japan and the US with glowing response from audiences and international media.
2003 - BST's first work in Afghanistan: a collaboration with Exile Theatre, a company of formerly exiled professional theatre artists, and brought healing programs to refugee families that were pouring back into the country. With Afghanistan-Schulen, BST reached 25,000 children in the rural north, focusing especially on girls who were returning to school after years of Taliban ban on girls' education.
2001 - Following September 11, 2001, BST members traveled to Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan to bring joy and laughter to Afghan children, and learn more about the conflict.
Afghanistan Country Background
After three decades of war, occupation, drought and constant displacement, Afghanistan is starting the long process of recovery. Beginning with the Russian invasion in 1979, followed by a decade of mujahideen-driven civil war, eight years of repressive Taliban rule, US retaliation after September 11th, and an upsurge of violence in 2006, Afghanistan needs help more than ever.
- Theatre and all of the arts were decimated by the eight years of strict Taliban law. Most children under the age of 10 had never seen a performance of any kind, nor a painting, nor seen a dance.
- A generation of Afghan women and girls have gone without an education.
- The excessive violence and instability of the last decades in Afghanistan has created a population with disrupted coping skills, compounded by inconsistent schooling, work, recreation and voice in civic affairs.
“The first collaboration between an Afghan and an American theatre company, [the play] has a quiet authority, even delicacy, that is truly powerful.”- Margo Jefferson, The New York Times
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