Aida Nasrallah is the pen name of Mahagna Nassra, a Palestinian-Israeli writer, poet, performance artist, art historian and critic, and lecturer at Beit Berl University. Her work focuses on women’s roles as peacebuilders. She organizes and runs a weekly salon for women poets and writers, serving as mentor for Arab women in Israel who wish to experiment with poetry and fiction. She was the driving force behind “Common Threads,” an art exhibit that displayed the work of Jewish and Arab women artists side by side at the prestigious gallery of the Tel Aviv University.
She has published over 40 short stories and 60 poems in various Arabic publications in Israel. Her novel My Dear Beyond the Ocean was recently published in German. Ms. Nasrallah received a B.A. in Arabic and Art, University of Haifa, and her M.A. Degree through the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Her thesis was entitled “Female Artists from the Wadi Ara Region: Their Artistic Endeavor as a Reflection of their Social and Individual Perception.” Her play, The Moaning of Rosary was produced as a reading by Portland Stage Company and the theatre department at Iowa University in 2001 and was later staged at New York Theatre Workshop the same year. She has given lectures on topics such as women’s roles in art and society, peace making, Arabic culture, and using the arts in teaching.
Lee Perlman is a Research Fellow at the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University. His book on Jewish/Palestinian theater collaboration in Israel “…But Abu Ibrahim, we’re Family!,” will be published by the Center in 2017. In 2013, Ha'aretz newspaper named Lee as one of "The 100 Most Influential People in Israeli Culture." Lee is formerly the Executive Director of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and at Brandeis University's "Genesis at Brandeis" and "Social Justice Summer" programs. He previously served as Director of Programs at The Abraham Fund Initiatives, a leading Israeli co-existence organization. Lee received his PhD from Tel Aviv University.
2016 Presentations on Theatre & Peacebuilding in Israel:
Troubled Contemporary Art Practices in the Middle East
June 3, 2016
Birbeck University of London, University of Nicosia, Cyprus
Lee Perlman presented the joint production “Shame-Talkbacks on Theatre” as a case study in precarious Palestinian/Jewish collaborative artistic mobilization in Israel. “Shame” which premiered in October 2015 at the Tmuna Fringe Theater Center in Tel Aviv, is a devised performance of two consecutive solo pieces in which a Jewish Israeli actress and Palestinian actor, each perform their personal experience of taking oppositional public stands in and outside of the theater while seeking to fulfill their artistic aspirations. Read Lee's presentation and view photos from "Shame."
Palestinian Arab Creative Arts in Israel
May 15, 2016
Haifa University Faculty of the Arts
Lee Perlman presented along with actors, Morad Hassan and Einat Weizman the joint production of “Shame – Talkbacks on Theatre” in a panel on “Young Artists: Identities and Challenges.”
Lee presented “Shame” as an example of Palestinian/Jewish artistic collaboration, which consciously attempts to defy the theatrical modes and the power relations often found in joint productions.
“Shame’s” two performers, Hassan and Weizman (who also directed the piece) shared their perspectives and experiences.
Annual Israeli Theater Researchers’ Association Conference
February 9, 2015
Kibbutzim College of Education
Acting Together contributor Lee Perlman presented his paper "Actors as Change Agents in Joint Productions of Jews and Palestinians in Israel" at a panel entitled “Acting, Actor, Society” at the Annual Israeli Theater Researchers’ Association Conference “On Acting in Theater: Aesthetics, History and Culture” in Tel Aviv at the Kibbutzim College of Education.
International Research Workshop of The Israel Science Foundation presents:
Rethinking Political Theatre in Western Culture
March 4, 2015
Tel Aviv University
Lee Perlman chaired and presented, along with Acting Together contributor Dr. Aida Nasrallah at a workshop session "Performance and Peacebuilding in Israel: The Politics of Identity, Representation and Power-Relations" at an International Research Workshop of The Israel Science Foundation on Rethinking Political Theatre in Western Culture at Tel Aviv University. Stage Director Sinai Peter shared his experiences directing many joint Jewish/Palestinian productions and actors Mahmoud Abu Jazi and Einat Weizman performed an excerpt from Oved Shabbat (Quieter Days) by Hanna Eady and Edward Mast, directed by Sinai Peter at the Palestinian Al-Midan Theatre in Haifa. Session supported by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University. View the workshop flyer and program.