Sharm El-Sheikh Int'l Theatre Festival for Youth to kick off 4th edition

Eslam Omar , Wednesday 27 Mar 2019

Held from 1 to 7 April, the festival will bring 15 plays from 30 countries, four workshops and five seminars to the coastal city of South Sinai

Sharm El Sheikh International Theatre Festival
Actor and director Mohamed Sobhi (L) spoke at the press conference of the Sharm El Sheikh International Theatre Festival after actress Samiha Ayoub (R) (Photo: Eslam Omar)

The Sharm El-Sheikh International Theatre Festival for Youth's fourth edition will take place from 1 to 7 April, with 15 plays from 30 countries competing for various awards.

"The festival is continuing to successfully demonstrate Egypt's status as a beacon of enlightenment," said the festival's honorary president, actress Samiha Ayoub, during a press conference on Tuesday at the Supreme Council of Culture.

Samiha Ayoub
Samiha Ayoub, Lady of Arab Theatre, during the Sharm El Sheikh International Theatre Festival press conference, Tuesday 26 March 2019 (Photo: Eslam Omar(

France is the fourth edition's guest of honour.

The main competitions will see six plays face off from France, Italy, Canada, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt. Another four, from France, Syria, Palestine and Egypt, are competing in the monodrama contest, which will be judged by experienced jury members from various countries.

The jury of the main competition is headed by Swiss director Sophie Kandauurouff. The jury's members also include Saudi theatre professor Sami Al-Gama'an, German professor Thomas Engel, Egyptian decor and light designer Hazem Shebl and Emarati actor Abdullah Rashed.

The monodrama contest's jury members are French professor Omar Fartat, German professor Stefan Donath and Sudanese writer Essam Abou El-Qasem, in addition to four others from Iraq, Spain, the UAE and Oman in the street theatre contest.

Mohamed Sobhi
Actor and director Mohamed Sobhi pledges an important edition of the Sharm El Sheikh International Theatre Festival at a press conference, Tuesday 26 March 2019 (Photo: Eslam Omar)

"We are aiming for an integration of different theatre generations," said actor and director Mohamed Sobhi, head of the higher committee of the festival, adding that the festival was keen to invite "Sinai Bedouins to the activities of the festival with their traditional costumes."

The festival's director Mazen El-Gharabawy echoed Sobhi, revealing that the festival organisers "will be meeting with representatives from the South Sinai locals to arrange their participation in the various workshops of the festival in addition to free entry to the plays."

Mazen El-Gharabawy
The Sharm El Sheikh International Theatre Festival director Mazen El-Gharabawy reveals details about the fourth edition at a press conference, Tuesday 26 March 2019 (Photo: Eslam Omar)

Four workshop will be held for talented youngsters during the festival; an acting workshop by Palestinian Kamel El-Basha, writing by Iraqi Ali El-Zaidi, musical theatre by German Manickam Yogeswaran, and a master-class in acting dramaturgy by Dane Julia Farley.

This edition is dedicated to legendary Egyptian actor George Sidhom, while six other theatre experts are also honoured; Danish writer and director Eugenio Barba, French director and actress Catherine Marnas, Emirati writer Ismail Abdullah, and Egyptian actors Mohie Ismail, Laila Taher and Mostafa Sha'ban.

Mohie Ismail
Egyptian actors Mohie Ismail uses his known humor during his speech at the Sharm El Sheikh International Theatre Festival For Youth as actress Marwa Abdel-Monim, who presented the press conference, laughs, Tuesday 26 March 2019 (Photo: Eslam Omar)

Additionally, three other Egyptians will be honoured in the closing ceremony; directors Mohamed El-Sharkawy and Gamal Yaqout and actor Mohamed Tharwat.

Five seminars will be held, two for Sidhom and Barbra tribute, two for Swiss and France Theatre discussions, and one to introduce Erika Fischer-Lichte's Research Centre.

The festival is supported by the ministries of culture, youth and sports and tourism, as well as the governorate of North Sinai and many local and international cultural authorities and private companies.

George Sidhom
Sharm El Sheikh International Theatre Festival 4th edition is named after Egyptian theater actor George Sidhom (Photo: Ahram)

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