DRAMATIC SKETCHES OF HERITAGE IN ARTAS
Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 09.04.2012:
The Artas Folklore Center has its own drama troupe, named after the Artas Spring in the heart of the village, and under director Mohammed Abdel Kareem, (right in photo above) which provides another outlet for youthful talent. The problems of Artas farmers are often reenacted on the stage of the Artas Lettuce Festival. The title of the play, “Khas Ya Baladi,” presented in 2007 is a play on words as “Baladi” can mean “my country” or refer to the type of lettuce “khass.” (See the playbill at http://www.wordpress-230236-736489.cloudwaysapps.com/index.php?nav=6-14&cid=5&did=2947&pageflip=) The Troupe also uses drama to deal with social issues.Another play presented at a Women’s Day event in the village, for example, dealt with the problems of early marriage.
Aside from our own troupe several others find appreciative audiences in Artas. One frequent participant is the Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows in Bethlehem. In 2007, for instance, they presented a play entitled St. George and the Dragon, a play with multiple resonances, alluding at once to the shared Christian/Muslim figure known as St. George or Al Khader, peasant traditions, and current reality. In 2011, their women’s group in their colorful thobs were a big hit.
The girls of nearby Battir presented a play in 2006 reenacting the encounter of Anthropologist Hilma Granqvist with the villagers.
This is one area which the Artas Folklore Center would like to expand in its tourism program.