Running until 4 January, The festival is hosting 29 performances on 14 stages across Cairo.

Egypt launched the 13th edition of the National Theatre Festival on Sunday, under strict safety measures against the global pandemic, hosting a rich line-up of performances, activities, and ceremonies.

Tens of artists, critics, experts, and cultural personas, headed by Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem, attended the opening of the event that is running until 4 January 2021.

“The festival is becoming a real movement of the Egyptian theatre. It’s a fruit of a full year of creativity,” Abdel-Dayem stated in her speech, thanking the participants for their efforts in such a challenging edition.

Celebrating 150 years of Egyptian theatre in an edition named Dawret El-Aba’a, the festival is holding numerous celebrations commemorating the renowned names of Egyptian theatre and focusing on its history and its pioneers like Zaki Tolaimat, Youssif Wahbi, George Abyad, Naguib El-Rihany, Ali El-Kassar, and others.

Photo courtesy of ahram.org

Among the honourees are actors Salah El-Sa’adany, Sohier El-Morshidy, Mahmoud Yassin, El-Montaser Bellah, Naguib Sorour, as wel as director Abbas Ahmed.

“I am so delighted for this honouring,” stated El-Morshidy, dedicating her award to all “the masters that paved the way” to theatre artists.

In the opening, presented by actor Mohamed Riad, Cultural Production Sector Head Khaled Galal introduced a 15-minute play he directed titled Al-Meirath (The Inheritance), written by Emad Abdel-Mohsen and choreographed by Karima Bedir.

The festival is hosting 29 performances on 14 stages across Cairo, including the Cairo Opera Houses’ Grand Hall and Al-Hanager Theatre, as well as the National Theatre, Tali’a, El-Gomhoreya, and other theatres.

Photo courtesy of ahram.org

“Plays selected to represent a variety of troupes, professionals, and amateurs, including the university theatre,” stated the festival’s president, Youssef Ismail.

Among the performances are the Artistic House’s hits The Optimist, staged by the National Theater troupe; Tales’ Shadow by El-Ghad Theater; Harem Al-Nar by Al-Tali’a Theater; Afrah Al-Qobba; and The Miser by the Youth Theatre troupe.

The Cultural Production Sector is presenting five plays during the festival, each of which will be staged twice with free admission.

All cultural actives in Egypt are cautiously following safety regulations presented by Egypt’s Health Ministry and the World Health Organization.

For more details about the activities and performance, check the festival’s website.

Photo courtesy of ahram.org

For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture.

This article was originally posted at ahram.org on December 22, 2020 and has been reposted with permission. To read the original article, click here.

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.

Author