PNT - Palestinian National Theatre


The Palestinian National Theater (PNT) plays a vital role in the Palestinian community and until recently was the only center for culture and art in the Occupied Territories. Since its inception in 1984, the theatre has served to actively encourage and promote artistic and cultural activities. The PNT was founded by the Palestinian El-Hakawati Theatre Company. After one year, the management of the center was handed over to a Board of Directors comprised of artists, writers, and notable persons in the Palestinian community.  



The PNT serves as a forum for cultural and artistic activities, and is working to upgrade and rekindle interest in the arts at the national level. Its mandate goes beyond preserving Palestinian culture, folklore and tradition and includes the active search for new ideas and innovative approaches to Palestinian self-expression.  



The PNT has experienced and is still experiencing difficult conditions as a result of oppressive Israeli actions and policies, and the theater has endured indefinite periods of closure, army raids and a censorship policy which limits free expression. In addition, the isolation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the Palestinian territories and oppressive policies against Palestinians spread an environment of  fear and helplessness, disrupting the ability to lead a normal life.



In spite of difficult conditions, the PNT has continued to expand its activities thanks to the diligence and hard work of its employees, the commitment of associated artists and the support of the community at large. On a daily basis, the PNT hosts various cultural events; rehearsals for a new theater productions, art shows, public meetings, film screenings and educational workshops for children. Activities such as the International Puppet Festival (IPF) are given priority as they address the needs of Palestinian children who have been deprived of their basic right to education, recreation, and freedom of expression.   



  We at the PNT realize that the responsibility of developing arts is a huge undertaking and therefore have made successful efforts to develop and enhance cooperation on projects with local artists, theater groups and arts institutions. The PNT also collaborates with the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, the-Ministry of Education, seveal United Nations organizations and a wide range of local and international NGOs.