The management of the 28th Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre (CIFET) — which will be taking place between 14 and 19 December 2021 — revealed that it had received a total of 285 submissions from local, regional, and international theatre troupes willing to participate in the festival’s upcoming edition.
Submissions to participate in the festival closed on 30 August 2021.
According to management, 167 foreign performances and 118 Egyptian performances were received, with the CIFET's specialised committee now currently in the process of filtering submissions so that they can decide which plays will be featured in the festival’s 28th edition.
As previously revealed by CIFET, the accepted performances will be staged for two consecutive nights during the CIFET’s dates — between 14 and 19 December. Additional performances may be organised outside of Cairo at the discretion of the festival and by prior arrangement with the visiting troupe.
Founded in 1988, the CIFET took place annually in early September. The festival's continuity, however, was interrupted by the January 2011 Revolution and the many changes that took place in Egypt's artistic scene in the following years.
After a five-year hiatus, the festival returned in 2016 with its 23rd edition and a new name: ‘The Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre’; and a few other changes related to scheduling, a practice that continued until 2019.
During this period of time, the festival also dropped its competitive character and focused on presenting a limited number of local and international plays.
In its 27th edition in 2020, the CIFET was held in the beginning of September with Alaa Abdel-Aziz as its president. Among the major changes that Abdel-Aziz introduced were reverting the event back to its competitive nature and bringing back the event's original name: ‘The Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre.’
Due to the global pandemic, the 27th CIFET was limited to local live performances by Egyptian troupes and international online plays.
The CIFET's president for the 28th edition is Gamal Yakout, with Mohamed Abdelrahman El-Shafei and Saeed Kabeel serving as artistic directors.
The board also includes a number of important figures of Egyptian theatre, including Hoda Wasfi, Abu Hassan Salam, Ayman El-Shiwi, Ahmed Megahed, Asmaa Yehya El-Taher, and Hazem Shebl.
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