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'100 Night Theatre' project for young directors

Cairo's Hanager Arts Centre to launch '100 Night Theatre' artistic project to encourage low-budget productions by young directors

May Selim, Thursday 16 May 2013
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Hanager Arts Centre will launch project "100 Night Theatre"  by the end of May 2013 as part of a new artistic initiative in Cairo.

Director Hesham Atwa heads the project with plans to produce ten plays on limited budgets to attract young directors.

"I have already conducted a similar project when I was heading the Al-Talia Theatre. Now, being responsible of the Hanager, I hope to give interesting opportunities to the young graduates of the Academy of Theatrical Arts in Cairo and other theatre institutes," said Hesham Atwa.

Young directors are expected to produce a performance based on LE25,000 budget ($3,500), for each of the 10 consecutive days that will conclude the project. Atwa depends on the creativity of the young artists operating within the confined financial possibilities.

"The budget is very limited but sufficient for my performance where all scenes take place in the same setting," said one of the young directors, Gamal Abdel-Nasser.

Abdel-Nasser prepared a play entitled Ashoufo (I want to see him) based on a short philosophical story The Devil's Era by Tawfiq al-Hakim, a prominent Egyptian writer.

"Together with my team, we work mainly motivated by love for theatre," the young director added.

Another director, Reda Hassanein is also rehearsing Otheliano, based on Shakespeare's Othello and adapted by Metwally Hamed. Being a member of Cairo's Puppet Theatre, Hassanein transforms Othello into a puppet.

Tamer Karam, Mohamed Al-Saghir and Islam Imam, who have collaborated with the theatres of the state, are also on the list of the participants of "100 Night Theatre."
They hope to reach a different audience. "The audience of Hanager differs from audiences of other state theatres," Atwa asserted.

Karam will present a new version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, while Al-Saghir draws inspiration from the Spanish literature. Imam Islam, in his turn, prepared an adaptation of The sons of rigor by Uruguayan writer Alvaro Ahunchain. The story deals with the perpetual issue of a battle with life.

"The budget is limited, but we want to attract people to the theatre. An important step in current circumstances in the country, especially when we realise that theatre is going through a major crisis," Islam commented, hoping the '100 Night Theatre' project will give a breath of new life to the contemporary Egyptian theatrical scene.

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