Rooftop Theatre is a group of theatre professionals and theatre enthusiasts, from both major ethnic communities in Cyprus, who come together with the goal of discovering themselves and their land through the living art of theatre. The Group, formed by theatre enthusiasts and active citizens from both communities following the opening of the checkpoints in 2003, is working to face the challenges of a changing culture and society in Cyprus. The group attempts to achieve this by enacting through dialogue, theatre and performance an exploration of personal and cultural identity and of the insights, skills and possibilities needed to live in a multicultural society. The group gained official NGO status in 2008.
Through its activities and outreach programs, the Group aims to help bridge the gap and heal the historical conflict between the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities. Theatre can and does help develop active tolerance skills in people, that is, openness to the other, a greater maturity and understanding, in contrast to the passive tolerance that many members of society have today.
Rooftop aims to break down gender, cultural and social stereotypes through self-reflection and dialogue. Since its creation, the Rooftop Theatre Group presents theatrical performances, with a socio-political context. The play text for the performances is the creative result of the stories and experiences shared by participants in weekly theatre workshops, organized yearly around a particular theme that is of current interest to the public. The participants in the workshops, the producers of the play text, the actors in the performances and others working behind the scenes in preparing the workshops and the performances, come from both the G/C and T/C communities. Thus far, the Group has produced 7 performances, some of which have been presented to international festivals overseas. The Group is also involved in public dramatized readings of play texts and other documents, always with a social-political context.
The Group strongly supports the goal of uniting people and communities through theatre, based on dialogue, reconciliation, acceptance and respect for diversity. We attempt to achieve this goal through collective and innovative activities that bring forth the creative talent of the participants and the audience, entertain, educate, develop and transform the skills and possibilities of individuals and groups.
Our main principle is that the creative process should be accessible by all individuals, therefore, there is no charge for those wishing to take part in the theatre workshops. We also argue in favor of including all members of society in freely debating and expressing their opinion, regardless of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and religious belief.
Productions include: 2011, Stories of Loss. 2010, XX / XY: Gender Revelations. 2009, Heart. 2008, Performing the experience. 2006, MASA. 2005, Walls Within. 2004,HIStory, HERstory, HOUSESTORY, OURstory.