The inaugural edition of the Eazees International Women's Theatre Festival (EIWTF) which will take place between 23 and 29 March, will honour the name of late Egyptian playwright and activist, Fathia El-Assal (1933-2014).
The festival is presided over by actress Abeer Lotfy, and director Abeer Aly and theatre critic Rasha Abdel-Moneim are the festival's directors. The festival is supported by Egypt's Ministry of Culture.
In its inaugural edition, the festival's honorary president is Egypt's renowned actress Sawsan Badr.
The festival, to be held annually, is focused on stage plays with key interest in women’s issues.
With the detailed programme yet to be released, the EIWTF promises to present 10 Egyptian and international stage plays (two every day) during its official competition.
The plays will be staged at numerous venues in Cairo, including the Hanager Centre For Arts, Artistic Creativity Centre, Ministry Of Youth Theatre, Cairo Library, Supreme Council Of Culture and Cairo Opera's Small Hall.
The awards will be given to the best stage play, best director, best actor, best actress, best scenography, in addition to the Jury award and appreciation and special mention certificates.
The festival's award is a statue of the ancient Egyptian godess Eazees (also known as Isis).
Two plays will be staged outside the competitive segment, one during the opening, and another during the closing ceremony.
In addition, the event will hold several workshops and seminars led by renowned women theatremakers.
Following the belief that women have a unique creative sensitivity, the festival's organisers aim to encourage women to express themselves in an artistic, intellectual and esthetic framework, create a platform of creative networking while raising social awareness of women’s issues and concerns.
Among the objectives enumerated on the EIWTF's website is the festival's aim to establish a fully feminist event, where no issues other than women’s are discussed, a matter that gives the festival an opportunity to go beyond the superficial matters, traditional stereotypes and to highlight the "depths of feminist crises at both the psychological and wider social levels. It is a theatre festival with an interest in highlighting women’s relationship with the world, which is its main concern."
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