Egyptian scenographer Hazem Shebl appointed vice president of prestigious int'l theatre organisation

Ahram Online , Wednesday 5 Jul 2017

By joining the International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians, Shebl will potentially support his proposal for Egypt hosting the upcoming World Stage Design event

Hazem Shebl (far right) with the board of directors at the WPA (Photo: Hazem Shebl's Facebook page)

The International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT) has appointed Egyptian scenographer Hazem Shebl as vice president and a member of its board of directors till 2021.

The announcement was made at the current World Stage Design (WSD) 2017 event in Taipei, Taiwan, where Shebl’s set design for the Egyptian play El-Selem Wel Teaban (Snakes and Ladders) was exhibited.

The OISTAT was founded in Prague in 1968 as a global network for “specialist practitioners, educators and researchers who shape, challenge and imagine elements, events and environments for the live performing arts,” as stated on their website.

Sharing the news on his Facebook page, Shebl explained that the position is not a paid job, but a voluntary one, and requires attending three to five board meetings as well as international events in different hosting countries.

“I still don’t know how these travels will be funded or supported, and I hope the Ministry of Culture will understand the value of this international assembly, and support it with quick decisions, especially as it will play a role in having Egypt host the next WSD,” Shebl said.

On 4 July, Shebl presented his proposal to the board of directors for Egypt to host the next edition of the event in 2021, which he said was met with enthusiasm.

The chosen country will be announced in June 2018.

The scenographer also posted on his page a dedication to the late scenographer Ramzy Mostafa, who was one of the founding members of OISTAT, and was the one to introduce him to its activities and nominate his work for display at the Prague exhibition in 2003.

Shebl won the prestigious Encouragement State Award for the best stage designer in 2004.

Shebl’s career goes back to 1987, and includes designing sets and lighting for University plays, as well as national theatre productions.

Between 1989 and 1994, Shebl was the set designer in the production section of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union. He was then technical director at the American University in Cairo’s Department of Performance and Visual Arts until 2006.

Shebl is currently a part time professor of scenography and technical theatre at Ain Shams University’s Drama Department in the Arts Faculty.

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