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Articles, Reviews, Volume 5

The 2016 Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre

The 2016 Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre
A Theatre Review by Karen Malpede
Arab Stages, Volume 5, Number 1 (Fall, 2016)
2016 by Martin E. Segal Theatre Center PublicationIn Egypt, as in most of the rest of the world, theatre is part of the dissident, liberalizing political scene, and it becomes impossible, therefore, to separate a discussion of plays from a discussion of the aspirations and the sufferings of a people. Maybe the most important thing for Americans to understand in the midst of our ongoing invasions, occupations, drone attacks, endless “war against terrorism,” and terrifying election rhetoric, all of which impacts and frightens Egyptians, is that in this predominantly Muslim country secularists and the vast majority of believers alike are virulently opposed to Islamic fundamentalism.

 

After a five year hiatus, the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre returned, September 20 through October 1, 2016, the 23rd such event. At the closing ceremony, Festival chairman Dr. Sameh Mahran said through bringing world artists to Cairo, the Festival intends to stand against terrorism; and this has been true since its inception. I was invited to Cairo for the festivals of 1998 and 1999 and reported the same intention in articles in New Theatre Quarterly and The New York Times.

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