Egyptian, Arab and int'l plays selected for 29th festival for experimental theatre

Ahram Online , Tuesday 14 Jun 2022

The management of the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre (CIFET) announced its list of Egyptian, Arab and international plays that will participate in its 29th edition scheduled to take place in September 2022.

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The plays has been selected from a total of 203 submitted, including 55 international shows, 90 Arab and 58 Egyptian shows.

The international section includes Wrongland (Greece), The Last 15 Seconds (Canada), White Light (Switzerland), Robot (Spain/Poland), The Women Soccer Players (Mexico), Dust Circus (Brazil) and Symbiosis (Poland).

Two performances – Hydráos (Austria) and Illusion (Italy) – are on the wait list. Their participation will be confirmed in case one of the previously mentioned troupes withdraws.

The committee choosing the international plays consisted of director Essam El-Sayed, director and scenographer Omar El-Moutaz Bellah, and theatre critics Khaled Raslan and Bassem Adel.

The Arab plays are represented by Menifesto (Syria), The Sixth Line (Kuwait), Divine Comedy (Tunisia), Factory Reset (Iraq), Cha Ta Rra (Morocco) and The Handkerchief (Syria), while The Last One (Tunisia) is waitlisted.

The committee choosing Arab plays included directors Nasser Abdel Moneim and Hany ElMetennawy, writer and critic Rasha Abdel Moneim, and scenographer Mahmoud Sabry.

The Egyptian plays chosen are Halawes by the Hanager Arts Centre's troupe, and Fighting Dance by Dayer troupe.

The viewing committee included professor of drama Hatem Hafez, director Hani Afifi, director and choreographer Monadel Antar, and critic Mohamed Massad.

The management has yet to reveal the plays participating in the out-of-competition segment, as well as the performances to take part in the Experimental Theatre Club competition, which is a segment reaching out to the productions prepared by the troupes in a variety of governorates across Egypt.

CIFET was launched in 1988 by former Minister of Culture Farouk Hosny with the aim of placing Egypt on the international theatrical map. The festival was presided over since its second edition by the late scholar-writer Fawzy Fahmy, the former president of the Academy of Arts, who retained this post until 2010.

The festival was interrupted for five years after the January 2011 Revolution, but came back in 2016 with Sameh Mahran as its president. In that edition, it was renamed the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre (CIFCET) and, limiting its programme, dropped its competitive character.

The name was changed back to the CIFET in its 27th edition (2020), when Alaa Abdel-Aziz took over and the competition was reinstated. However, due to COVID-19, the international shows took place online, while Egyptian plays were staged across Cairo’s theatres.

In 2021, Gamal Yakout became the president of the festival's 28th edition. He continues to preside over the festival in it's 29th edition scheduled to take place between 1 and 10 September 2022.

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