Thurman E. Scott, Artistic Director, Executive Producer and Founder
145 West 28th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10001
Dear Friend, March 20, 2010

Join us on Facebook and Twitter and follow Thurman E. Scott’s exciting journey to Israel! For the next three weeks ATW’s Artistic Director and Founder will explore the conflict in Israel and Palestine, teach classes to local theatre and film artists, and work on a powerful new film - - read Mr. Scott’s message below to learn more!


Don’t forget to join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Warm regards,
The Actors Theatre Workshop 




A message from Thurman E. Scott, Artistic Director, Executive Producer and Founder


Dear Friends,


I have just arrived in Israel, where I’m very happy to be working on a powerful new film that examines the conflict from the perspective of Israeli and Palestinian people. Traveling in Israel and Palestine I’ll have the opportunity to experience the complexities of the struggle first hand and hopefully bring some modicum of light to an immensely challenging situation.


One reason this trip is so special to me is that it allows me to share the foundation of my background. As a young student actor I had the privilege to train with the great acting teachers of the 20th century - - these luminaries were the founders of the Group Theatre (which was the foundation of American theatre as a whole) and came from Russian Jewish backgrounds. They developed a social and political consciousness that reflected the early struggles around the establishment of Israel. They had experienced the tumultuous European conflicts and became voices of dissent against injustice wherever it happened in the world, particularly in the early Labor and Civil Rights movements in America. I am a product of their teachings.


I see my trip as an opportunity to hopefully loan any insights I may have and reconnect myself to the spirit of those early visionaries, whose understanding of injustice was truly borderless. I’ll be holding classes for Israeli and Palestinian students who will work together on a project dealing with the pertinent issues their communities contend with today. I want to learn and share ideas with the people I encounter so we can hopefully gain new impressions of the conflict that will play upon our minds and spirits.


In my work I wish to open up curiosity among all those that participate so that hopefully a new vision of the conflict can emerge that will bring some respite of peace that the people so deeply deserve. If I’m so blessed as to lend my hand in some small way to this effort, I will feel I’m upholding the legacy of those great individuals who helped shape me as a person - - and I know their hearts will be gladdened. 


As I start to work on the film, I’m reminded of the great hatreds and seeming impossibility of the conflicts we overcame in WW I and WW II, and the great racial, ethnic and religious persecution we’ve surmounted. The complexities that took place in the first and second World Wars realigned the world. The global conflicts that have taken place since then in many ways have been repercussions of those early struggles. Our contemporary history has shown us that with faith and honest effort human beings can overcome great divides. Our former enemies are now our best friends. Our worldwide economies are intertwined and we exchange, communicate and cooperate each day as we implement foreign policy. And just a few years ago we were dropping bombs and locked into a violent spiral of butchery.


We need to reconnect ourselves with the lessons of history. And when we have the curiosity and courage to reexamine the past, we’ll realize that nothing is impossible. It’s this belief that gives me courage and faith that on this journey I can join the spirit and legacy that helped us to rise above the great divides of our past - - when we drew on our collective consciousness to confront great hatreds and found a way out of the darkness. It is my hope that once again this collective consciousness will become manifest in all of us, and in our elected leaders. And when it does the majesty of old will be reborn, and men and women, young and old will stand up and say “We are a collective consciousness that embodies light. No more will war dominate our being. Hope will alight and guide our vision to lead us out of the darkness.” 


Thurman E. Scott

Artistic Director, Executive Producer and Founder



P.S. If you'd like to join me on this journey, I’ll be making daily entries of the exciting revelations that take place on ATW’s Facebook and Twitter pages so you can share in this process as it unfolds.  Click on the links below to follow the trip. 

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