The third edition of Upper Egypt’s Theatre Festival lasted three days and closed Saturday 7 October with handing the prizes. The festival was held at the Assiut Culture Palace, organised by the Friends of Ahmed Bahaa’ Eldin Society (FABS) in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, and under the sponsorship of Assiut Governor Gamal Nour al-Din. Assiut, some 350km south of Cairo, is the capital city of Upper Egypt, the Nile Valley region which extends south of Cairo to the border with Sudan.
Nine theatre groups from seven governorates in Upper Egypt participated in the festival; 150 men and women below 35 competed for best performance, playwriting, directing, acting and scenery. The groups were independent, belonging to what is known as the ‘free theatre’ movement. Also participating were more than 50 theatre figures and critics.
Nouran Fayed, Manager of FABS, said that this year’s festival was dedicated to the memory of the great Egyptian poet and playwright Noman Ashour (1918 – 1987), born 100 years ago. His son attended the festival and received the shield in his father’s honour. The festival also honoured the prominent writer Darwish al-Assiuti for his great contribution to protecting non-tangible heritage and for his efforts in enhancing the theatre movement.
Prominent writer and critic Muhammad Salmawi was the festival’s president this year.
The best performance prizes went to “Rituals of Signs and Transfers” from Assiut; “Deformation”, also from Assiut; and “The Trap” from Aswan.
The FABS is a social and cultural charity established in 1996 to commemorate the liberal Egyptian writer and journalist Ahmed Bahaa-Eldin (1927 – 1996). It was founded in order to help realise the goals and principles, which he defended through his work over the course of 40 years. FABS the Ahmed Bahaa’ Eldin Cultural Centre in Assiut, Bahaa’ Eldin’s birthplace, to propagate enlightenment and cultural activists in Upper Egypt which is commonly regarded as a culturally-deprived region.
8 October 2018