The 23rd Jordan Theatre Festival opens today in Amman, featuring 20 plays from nine Arab countries, including Paranoia from Egypt.

The festival runs through 24 November at the Royal Jordanian Culture Center and hosts six works from Jordan and 14 works from other Arab countries: Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Tunisia, Iraq, Palestine and Oman.

Paranoia, directed by Mohsen Helmy, will represent Egypt in the festival. A monodrama, the play is the debut for playwright Rasha Faltas, and takes place inside the head of a woman suffering from a mental illness.

In Ahram Online’s review of the play, Dalia Bassiouny writes that “The first-time writer chose a complex topic: women’s oppression in society. She uses mental illness as a way to present the shattered psyche of the exploited woman.”

The play touches on sensitive themes, including patriarchy, incest, and the repression of young women’s sexuality.

Mohamed El-Damour, who heads the festival, stated in a report by MENA agency that this edition will honor Jordanian actor Hisham Heneidy, and Jordanian critic and director Bassem Delqmony.

The festival hosts Iraqi theatre actor Mahmoud Abo El-Abbas, UAE playwright Ahmed Abo Rahima, and Lebanese actress Samira El-Baroudy.

The play Shaytan El-Bahr (Devil of the Sea) by Ahmed El-Ansary represents the UAE in the festival, while Ard El-Farashat (Land of the Butterflies) by Sami El-Nasry represents Tunisia.

The festival will also present Selfone by Mohamed Moayed from Iraq, Al-Qalaa (The Citadel) by Aly El-Husseiny from Kuwait, Hozbara by Merna Sakhla from Palestine, Raasan Ala Aqeb (Upside Down) by Maisa El-Sobeihy from Saudi Arabia, and Khoyoot men Ahlam (Threads from Dreams) by Walid El Bady from Oman.

This article was originally published on Ahram Online Arts and Culture Reposted with permission. Read the original article.

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