Rooftop Theatre Group is a multicultural organisation that engages diverse topics and activities through the medium of performative art. Rooftop works in an inclusive and collaborative environment aiming to create dialogue and address cultural boundaries; that not only apply to Cyprus but also common cultural themes and global issues that face humanity in our world today.
Background and Profile
Formed in 2003, following the opening of the checkpoints in Nicosia, Cyprus, Rooftop Theatre Group was brought to life by theatre enthusiasts and active citizens from communities across the island of Cyprus. The name Rooftop Theatre Group derived from an anecdote that even if the checkpoints would possibly close again, the group would continue to perform and engage across the Rooftops of Nicosia.
Theatre can and does help develop active tolerance skills in people, that is, an openness to the other with a likely greater maturity and understanding within an individual or group. Since its creation, Rooftop Theatre Group has aimed to help bridge the gap and heal the conflict between communities by presenting theatrical performances with a socio-political context that aim to break down gender, cultural and social stereotypes through self-reflection and dialogue. In doing so, Rooftop works with participants from diverse communities living on the island including; Cypriots from the different ethnic identities, migrants, plus temporary and permanent residents of both the urban and rural areas.
The core values of Rooftop’s work have always been to face the challenges of a changing culture and society on the island, as well as common global challenges, by enacting through dialogue, theatrical performance and the exploration of personal and cultural identity. This has also included exploring the insights, skills and possibilities needed to live in a multicultural society. The evolution of Rooftop Theatre Group has brought the group to, not only an island wide presence in Cyprus but to the European and international platform, cooperating and engaging in: cross-cultural projects, performances, workshops, and international festivals.
To date, Rooftop Theatre Group and its work has been published in journals [Cadences, 2004 and 2005] and been presented in international festivals and symposiums [e.g. October 2015, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies) , with many other gatherings and events attended, Rooftop has made an imprint on many occasions . Rooftop Theatre Group’s participation in projects, based not only in Cyprus but across the region and in Europe, has varied in hosting and attending mobility’s to creative workshops, artist residencies, as well as socio-political or ideological themed training workshops for Youth (18+) and adults. The activities of the Group have been complemented by its European, Euro-Mediterranean and global presence for some years, through the initiatives of its members and the partnerships that have develop with individuals and entities that inspire us.
Rooftop Theatre Group operates on a non-profit and voluntary basis, and is financed from various sources. Our main principle is that a serious and legitimate creative process, based on cutting-edge and meaningful artistic practice, should be accessible by all individuals; therefore, there is no charge for those wishing to take part in the theatre workshops, unless under special circumstances. We are inclusive to all members of society regardless of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and religious belief.