“The Black Shadow and the Riddle of the Princess”

In 2007 today’s adolescents of Tamera, who were at that time aged between ten and twelve, participated for the first time in a GRACE peace pilgrimage in Israel/Palestine. They were so touched by the situation of the people and particularly the situation of the children in Palestine that they wanted to make their compassion public with great commitment. Their dream was to go out into the world with a theatre piece. From this a communitarian school-theatre project developed.  The young actors put their political questions to teachers and committed peace workers from all over the world and took on responsibility for their tasks and roles and all organisational issues. Motivation was very high; it was “their” project as a supportive action for the children and the youth of the world.

Maria Kessler (10-years-old then, took on the lead role of the princess):

“The black shadow is the symbol for the complacency of human beings. The Black Shadow feeds off their indifference and then it petrifies the people. The princess is the only one who doesn’t turn into stone for her heart is not yet closed. She wants to save her family and all the others. On this journey she finds out what is really happening in the world, things she hadn’t known before. She learns that there are children who need to work in factories; that there are child soldiers and refugee children. At the end she has the idea to write a theatre piece together with those children with which they can show the whole world what is happening to the children and what they want. And that’s then our own one – we want to show what is happening to the children in the world and what our dream is. Our dream is that all people can live in trust. When we trust each other we no longer need to lie. And when we stop lying we will live together in peace. “

Performance in Colombia

“Teatro La Candelaria” in Bogotá, Nov 09, 2010. The theatre piece is performed by an international youth group in Spanish. The piece moves the hearts of the spectators. On stage Colombian children and youth (Peace Village San José de Apartadó) play together with the youth group of Tamera.

Naila von Mendelsohn (15 years-old):
“The theatre piece was a really strong and exciting community process because we realized that we could not just be and play on stage with our friends when something between us wasn’t quite right. We wouldn’t be able to be standing on stage and say ‘Yes, we form a group together who wants to change the world.’ It wouldn’t be authentic. We realized that we needed to be in harmony or agree with what we present on stage if we want to touch people’s hearts and if we don’t want to merely try to somehow sell or represent something.”

Chronology “The Black Shadow”

  • 2007 – Participation of the children in the GRACE Peace Pilgrimage in Israel/Palestine.
  • May 2008 – Premiere in Tamera (Portugal) in German
  • September 2008 – Theatre Tour through Germany and Switzerland
  • February 2009 – Film Project, Video Filming and a DVD Production of the Theatre Piece in English
  • April 2009 – Premier in Portuguese at the Easter Peace Conference. Special Guest: Patch Adams.
  • July 2009 – Premier in English at the International Tamera Summer University “Creating Models for a Future Without War”
  • Autumn 2009 – Theatre Tour through Portugal in the frame of the GRACE Peace Pilgrimage
  • Spring 2010 – the adolescents pass on the piece to the younger children. Together they study, learn and rehearse the piece.
  • August 2010 – First performance of the piece by the younger children under the direction of the adolescence.
  • November 2010 – Premier in Spanish in Bogotá (Colombia). Theatre Tour through Colombia together with the youth of the Peace Community “San José de Apartadó” in the frame of the GRACE Peace Pilgrimage – Performances in schools and theatres