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3rd annual independent theater season begins

Under the auspices of El-Hanager Arts Center and the Independent Youth Artists Association (IYAA), the Third Annual Independent Theater Season is set to begin on 18 April. Celebrating 20 years of independent theater in Egypt, it will run through the summer until 2 August.

Fourteen shows–ranging from dance and movement to folklore and drama–will be performed by veteran independent theater troupes, including members of the IYAA, as well as newcomers to the scene.

IYAA shows will include el-Ghagar’s Sho’oub Mosta’amala (‘Used Nations’); el-Mesaharaty’s Tesbahi Ala Kheir Mama (‘Goodnight Mother’); Gamiet ูููel-Derasat’s Hekayat Min Azqat el-Alam el-Thaleth (‘Stories From Third World Lanes’); Shousha troupe’s Yassin 2010; Atelier el-Masrah’s El-Shaqa Fil Doulab (‘The Flat’s in the Cupboard’); el-Dou’s El-Hayat Minhah (‘Life’s a Gift’); and La Musica’s El-Hob Fi Zaman el-Roab (‘Love in the Time of Terror’).

Prominent non-IYAA-associated troupes El-Ma’abad and El-Kalb el-Aswad will also be performing Ahamiyet An Takoun Araby (‘The Importance of Being an Arab’) and Kalby el-Aswad (‘My Black Dog’), respectively. Shows from new troupes, meanwhile, will include el-Nas’s El-Moat Wil Azra’a (‘Death and the Virgin’); Halwasa’s El-Cirque Cirquina (‘Our Circus’); Ehtigag’s Naema; Carisma’s Ezbet el-Mufti (‘The Mufti’s Estate’); and Afamina’s El-Ghalban (‘The Downtrodden’).

Downtown’s Rawabet Theater will serve as the event’s host venue, given renovations currently underway at El-Hanager theater, the season’s official base of operations. In a statement released by the organizers, participants insisted that this year’s season would continue as planned–despite disruptions due to the temporary loss of its traditional setting–in a “determined effort”  to keep local independent theater alive and thriving.

Announcing the commencement of the new season at a press conference on Sunday, Hoda Wasfy, head of El-Hanager Arts Center, spoke of the importance of a months-long season–in which each show runs for over a week–as opposed to a festival, which typically restricts shows to a maximum of three nights each, in order to increase troupe exposure and generate discussion among practitioners and critics.

Citing author Youssef Idris, Wasfy stressed that theater will always remain a crucial “human need” that recognizes people’s gregarious natures while satisfying their impulse for self-reflection, going on to welcome the participation of this season’s many young troupes. Wasfy noted that this year’s season would boast an unprecedented 85 nights of theater.

The Third Independent Theater Season officially begins on Tuesday, 13 April, with El-Ghagar troupe’s show Sho’oub Mosta’amala (‘Used Nations’).

All performances will be held at 8.30PM at the Rawabet Theater, located at 3 Hussein Pasha el-Mamar St., off Mahmoud Bassiouny St., Downtown.

For inquiries, contact El-Hanager Arts Center at (02) 2735-6861.

For a complete schedule of the theater season, visit Al-Masry Al-Youm’s calender.

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