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Olive Jar Cast Interviews: Little Ali

With the show kicking off tonight, we caught up with the Narrator of the play, Ali, who is lending his voice to help in shining light onto the different stories in the Olive Jar Collection.

Who are you and what is your role in the show?

My name is Ali (referred as Little Ali by the team), in the show my role is the owner of the jars, the jar keeper, and essentially, usually keepers and people who are very high in power, their quite old and wise. But then what were trying to spread is, like that even young people can be wise (diversity and changing the expectation of the role). It (the role) spreads awareness as it shows that not only older people can do certain things, it shows more of an equality, and shows that young people can achieve as much as an older person could.

There are lots of lovely scenes in Olive Jar, what is your favourite moment in the play?

My favourite moment in the play is the us-the French bit, where (big) Ali (enters the scene) and I ask Miriam about her name, and then I just sort of get angry and then its just a funny bit because everyone’s just confused, then Miriam’s confused as well- so it’s just Chaos. I like when there’s so much going on because the audience gets confused and gets their mind working as well, and it’s just funny to be honest…

Why is it important to tell these narratives, presenting your voice and identity on the stage?

It shows who you really are, and it shows what you (can) represent, and you also get to represent your culture (as seen in this project) as you don’t really get the opportunities to do that anymore. And now, by doing it on a big stage like Grand Junction, it really allows us to express ourselves, show each other (and the audience) what we do back at home and tell each other our stories that have affected us negatively and positively.

Is there a tradition or symbol in the play that you connect with most?

I like the olives, how we get to share the experience with each other biting olives, because even (our) shoes are named after Olives back in the Middle East. Also, the Tea is something that represents Unity and it can really- as Mariam says (in her story)- spur our darkest secrets and just lets us enjoy ourselves with others.

What do you hope the audience will take away from Olive Jar?

Like for people who don’t really have an idea about their background, and don’t really know much and don’t know how to share where they come from. Because where you come from is really important because it basically makes up who you are and expressing yourself in that manner can really prove to show who you are and what you do like back at home and your family, what they represent.

Would you like to join more experiences like this, or do you think this project is one of a kind?

I would say this (show) is very unique, you won’t really find this anywhere else, it’s more like a once in a lifetime opportunity. So, I’m not sure if I would do- like pursue acting, but I’d always do Olive Jar. There’s just something about it that brings us together, and we get to share our stories, and it’s just the buzz (excitement) of the performance night that brings a feeling that can’t be matched to anything else.

Interview conducted by Anayis N. Der Hakopian

To hear the narrator himself, make sure to grab you tickets to Olive Jar for performances taking place on Thursday 25th to Saturday 27th at the Grand Junction.