The turtle only makes progress if it sticks out its neck. The narrative of the theatre play THE COURAGEOUS TURTLE follows Cambodian high school student Panha, who finds out about his family history by coincidence. Moreover, a pet turtle teaches him important lessons about how to cope with insecurity and injustice. Only two actors tell an engaging story with many characters in around 45 minutes, using different costumes and a few props within a simple classroom setting. With young people in the age group 10-24 comprising 36% of the population, Cambodia has the youngest population in Southeast Asia. Written by female playwright and short film director Sokyou Chea (30), THE COURAGEOUS TURTLE speaks the language of Cambodia’s new generation. It encourages students to talk with victims of the regime and to promote reconciliation. It’s about tolerance and the pressing need for civil courage.
SOKYOU CHEA (Playwright): "THE COURAGEOUS TURTLE is not a Cambodian history lesson; I'm not a historian. If anything, this play is about contemporary Cambodia. The play is a dramatization of how we can learn from the past to build a better today and tomorrow for ourselves and for our country. The past that we refer to in the story is the Khmer Rouge era, the darkest years in modern Cambodian history. It still leaves its legacy even today. What we want the audience to take from the story, is that the fate of a country relies on every individual in society. When we are on the right track, it will lead us to prosperity. And one of the ways to start that is to promote moral/civil courage in the community and in the world in which we live.”