Over 1.1 million Syrian refugees are registered in Lebanon. Not only does Lebanon host more Syrian refugees than any other country, it also hosts over tens of thousands of other crisis émigrés from other countries, including Iraq, Sudan, Ethiopia, and neighboring Palestine. As a result, the economic and social implications have been profound for both displaced and host populations throughout the country.
Clowns Without Borders returns to Lebanon this fall, led by Sabine Choucair. Our team includes Leah Abel, a veteran CWB performer, and welcomes Hanna Gaff on her first project. Leah has performed with CWB on past projects to Haiti, Texas, and Palestine. Leah is the Executive Director of Circus Up, a social circus program in Boston. Hannah Gaff is an acrobat and educator based in the Bay Area. She works with Medical Clown Project, Clown Conservatory at Circus Center SF, and UpLift Physical Theatre.
Clowns Without Borders is partnering with Clown Me In, a Lebanese clown troupe. Our Lebanese counterparts will begin the project before Leah and Hannah arrive, training 15 new clowns in foundational clowning and performance for two weeks. After arriving, CWB-USA artists will continue to train these new clowns, and together, they will create a performance. They will spend one week training and learning about show creation, and will follow this with a week of touring. The team will perform throughout Lebanon, inviting the workshop participants to perform in their home region. The team expects to complete one week of workshop intensives, and approximately 15-20 performance engagements.
Funding for the workshop portion of the tour comes from Selat: Links Through The Arts and Prince Clause Fund for Culture and Arts.