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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, 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.


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Cambodian culture experienced a deep and devastating blow during the terrible years of the Khmer Rouge regime. Performing arts were banned and artists, artisans, dancers and musicians were targeted.

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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

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