The National Theatre Company of Iraq had to cancel their scheduled performance an award-winning play about refugees, called ‘Camp’, in Canada after the group was denied permission to enter the country.
The actors were scheduled to perform at the IMPACT 15 International Theatre Festival in Kitchener, Ontario. Their play tells the stories of two refugees trying to escape Iraq. Festival artistic director Majdi bou-Matar said Canadian officials were worried the actors might apply for refugee status themselves.
The theatre festival instead hosted an open forum on 26 September 2015 which connected theatregoers with the Iraqi artists via Skype and text, and a short reading from ‘Camp’.
“You can keep people out of Canada but you can’t keep their stories out,” said festival founder Majdi Bou-Matar.
» Newswire – 21 September 2015:
Banned Iraqi actors to appear at IMPACT 15 theatre festival via Skype
» Newswire – 18 September 2015:
Iraqi actors denied entry to Canada to perform at Impact 15 International Theatre Festival
» CBC News – 18 September 2015:
Iraq’s National Theatre Company denied visas to play Kitchener’s Impact 15 festival
“Canadian officials say in letter they weren’t convinced troupe would return to Iraq.”