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In preparation for our upcoming Amatak festival, members of our latest theater production Passage of Life have been paired with long-time CLA collaborator French-Khmer playwright Jean-Baptiste Phou, who has worked on the Khmer opera Where Elephants Weep and Winds of Angkor as well as his own play Cambodia Here I Am. They have begun a six-week project to create a new piece to be performed at the opening ceremony of our upcoming Amatak festival.

On Monday, they completed writing and began casting their new performance entitled Nary’s Journey. We asked Jean-Baptiste a few questions about the rehearsals: “The first week is creative writing, second week story, third and fourth staging, fifth entering the stage, and sixth presenting the show.”  The piece will explore the challenges of balancing modernity and tradition in modern Cambodian life.

And the most important thing he hopes the Nary’s Journey troupe should learn from working alongside him: “I hope that my presence here can help them be committed, strict, and consistent about creation… It’s actually all the steps we go through that make things happen. Work in the small details.”
We’ll check back with the troupe and their progress in coming weeks as they prepare for the Amatak Festival.

The Amatak festival will be held from Friday, August 15th until Sunday 17th August at the Royal University of Fine Arts and our Plae Pakaa theater at the National Museum of Phnom Penh.

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