In July 2010, for the second consecutive summer, CAT hosted a group of young professional women from the United Arab Emirates for a whirlwind, two-week living and learning experience.
The visiting students were current and recent graduates of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), the largest public university in the United Arab Emirates and surrounding region. Many had participated the previous summer’s exchange and returned for an advanced course of study.
The students experienced 40 hours of hands-on workshops led by CAT’s senior staff and guest artists and took in a full, Citywide schedule of museum visits, sports events, and cultural performances. They also met a range of successful female New Yorkers who may become role models for a nation where women’s roles are rapidly evolving.
“We at UAEU are delighted that the partnership with CUNY and CAT continued this summer. Last year’s participants told me the visit to New York ‘changed their lives,’” said Dr. James Mirrione, Associate Professor and Arts Coordinator at UAEU and a CAT co-founder. “All of us express our gratitude to Her Excellency Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF), whose generous support continues to make the partnership possible.”
This trip represented the third CUNY/CAT/UAEU exchange. The partnership began in 2008 with a visit to UAEU by two CAT teaching artists and continued in 2009 with a two-week summer residency at CAT by 12 UAEU students.
In 2007-2008, CAT Youth Theatre was the first American company, and one of 12 organizations worldwide, selected to participate in the prestigious international Contacting the World Festival in Liverpool, England. The program is organized by Contact Theatre, a leading British youth theatre.
The 10-month experience involved an overseas partnership with Project Phakama, a youth theatre company in London and culminated in July 2008 when a cohort of CYT members traveled to Liverpool, England to perform their original production, In the Shadows, for an international audience.
The experience changed the lives and perspectives of the young people who participated on levels both large and small. They made (and remain in touch with) many new friends. They were exposed to many different kinds of theatre. Some had never flown in an airplane before; others, who share bedrooms at home, enjoyed the single dorm rooms in Liverpool; others enjoyed the packed schedule and opportunities to dine in restaurants.
But most importantly, they had the opportunity to meet, get to know and work with other young people from all over the world. They got to challenge their own preconceptions and expectations, and learned - first hand - about many other countries and cultures.
The Youth Theatre companies were from the UK, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Nepal, India, Palestine, Zambia and CAT from the USA.
A generous anonymous donor made a challenge grant – and hundreds of people responded – to make this experience possible. CAT is grateful for all of their support.
A three-year collaborative project supported by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (formerly the US Information Agency). CAT artists collaborated with Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli actors to create a play with a message tolerance and peace. They toured the play to Arab and Israeli schools and youth centers and presented a culminating performance for an audience of dignitaries and invited guests at the United Nations in New York City.
The Society of Children's Theatre Works and Community Development in the Kyushu-Okinawa region brought CAT to Japan to introduce the concept of educational theatre. The goal was to seed future training programs in theatre-in-education and youth theatre processes.
The Bilateral Educational Support through Theatre (BEST) Project was a partnership with four South African universities. With funding from the US Department of State, CAT collaborated with South African educators, artists and healthcare workers to offer training that would help address pressing community health and wellness issues.