Seenaryo is a participatory theatre and arts organization founded in 2015 that works with young Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. We do this by initiating arts education and cultural projects in partnership with grassroots groups. Each summer, Seenaryo creates a full ‘showbuild’ with a group of children from the Yaabad Scout Troupe in Shatila. Starting from scratch, over 5 full days the participants build a full-length piece of original theatre, including characters, scenes, songs with original lyrics, dance and set, with all content created by the participants. The showbuild culminates in an hour-long performance in Shatila followed by a tour around different venues in Lebanon. We also work with a small group of trainees throughout the project, who support and shadow the process and take part in a teacher training workshop.
The Seenaryo team stays at marra.tein and uses the residency space as our headquarters throughout the showbuild. In partnership with the Syrian organization Women Now, we also create a second showbuild with a group of young Syrian refugees living in the Bekaa Valley. The showbuilds are one of 5 strands in Seenaryo’s programming, which also includes a long-term mentorship and production programme for emerging artists in the Bekaa Valley led by Dictaphone Group; ongoing weekly workshops; cultural trips to Lebanon’s arts institutions; and a teacher training programme for applying creative tools in schools.
We believe in the value of independent theatre and artistic production in providing a space for autonomy and empowerment, sowing a political seed, and developing leadership and resilience. Plans are underway for the 2016 summer iteration.