Iraqi actors refused entry to Canada

Pop Goes The News — Iraqi actors scheduled to perform at a theatre festival in Canada next week were denied visas on Friday.

Members of Iraq’s National Theatre Company were set to present Camp at the IMPACT 15 International Theatre Festival in Kitchener, Ont. on Sept. 26 and 27.

Six actors who applied for visas live in Iraq and a seventh is British. The company’s director lives in France.

According to the festival’s artistic director, the actors were refused entry because Canadian officials feared they would seek refugee status.

Camp is described as a play about a man and woman who leave Iraq to escape the “outrageous violence, pain, and death that has taken over their country.”

“It’s a unique look at the lives of refugees and we’re disappointed to cancel it,” Majdi bou-Matar said, in a release.

“When you stop these stories from entering the country, you’re in trouble. We’re exploring other ways to tell this story through video-conferencing.”