The Kabyl Folktale Theater Project
The Kabyl Folktale Theater Project is a project that celebrates the rich oral tradition of Kabylia by combining theatrical performance with Kabyl folktales (timucuha). Young Kabyl women from the region of Bgayet will create a theatre rooted in Kabyl folktales and become Kabylia’s leaders of tomorrow.
Kabyl folktales represent the oral literature and the educational tool used by our ancestors to teach their children the wisdom of their experiences. This project will revive this tradition by bringing it to stage for everyone to share.
Through the medium of theatre the intimate familiar story telling tradition will move to the stage and come to life before an audience to celebrate Amazigh heritage. Performance will enhance the message this oral literature carries through new rhythms, colors, shapes, and characters. Arts in North Africa, in the last twenty years, particularly theatre, have suffered greatly due to economical and political strife. This project will encourage the arts in general and generate interest in theatre and formal storytelling.
Why Young Kabyl Women?
This project represents a unique opportunity for young aspiring Kabyl female artists to express themselves in a new way. Taous Khazem will spend three months in the Théâtre Régional of Bgayet teaching 15 young women to listen, observe and absorb the world around them while keeping their curiosity heightened and their artistic motivation strong.
This project will:
1. Help develop female theatre artists and empower the Kabyl community and women in particular.
2. Encourage the arts in the Amazigh language, which will contribute to preserving and disseminating Tamazight and age-old traditions.
3. Help young Amazighs who do not have many options for creative outlets and expression. Theatre and arts in general are essential for developing tomorrow’s leaders.
4. Not only reach the participants of the project but also the audience. This is an opportunity to touch hundreds of lives through the arts.
Amazigh-American Taous Claire Khazem trained at the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris,
France and is a graduate of Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has presented her one woman
show Tizi Ouzou in Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, Saint Paul, Minnesota and most recently in
Alexandria, Egypt. In Minneapolis Taous often performs with Frank Theater and Off Leash Area Performance Works. Last spring she directed A Lion's Tale: Somali Folktales for SteppingStone Theatre, where she is also the Education Coordinator. Taous serves on the Board of Directors for Mizna, A Forum for Arab American Art. Always interested in her Amazigh roots, she dreams of creating a project that will give back to Kabylia in a way that will directly benefit the community.
Place and Date
The project will be carried out during the summer months of 2008. It will take place at the Theatre Regional de Bgayet. The choice of Bgayet was determined by the availability of resources and the commitment given to the project by the director of the theater.
ACAA is a non-profit organization working for the preservation and promotion of the Amazigh heritage. ACAA is registered in the state of New Jersey but has members in the continental US and Canada. ACAA is at the forefront of the promotion of the Amazigh culture through its sponsorship of young authors, scientific research and cultural activities. ACAA publishes The Amazigh Voice newsletter and maintains a website at www.tamazgha.org. ACAA activities are funded mainly through membership fees and donations. For more information contact us at the address on the front cover.