Egyptian National Theatre Festival launches Adel Emam edition

Ahram Online , Sunday 30 Jul 2023

The 16th edition of the Egyptian National Theatre Festival – which is named after iconic actor Adel Emam – was launched at the Cairo Opera House on Saturday with dozens of artists and cultural personas in attendance.

Egyptian National Theatre Festival opening
Egyptian minister of culture Neveen Elkilany on the stage with some of the organisers of the Egyptian National Theatre Festival during the opening ceremony, Cairo Opera House, Saturday 29 July 2023


“This edition is exceptional,” stated Egyptian Minister of Culture Nevine El-Kilani during the opening, adding that "the festival is applying a new vision this year that reflects the great history of Egyptian theatre.”

This year’s edition is taking place under the presidency of actor Mohamed Riyad.

More than 37 plays will be shown through 12 August across various halls in Cairo; including the Cairo Opera House’s Hanagaer and Creativity Centre, Cairo National Theatre, Al-Taleia, Miami, Al-Ghad, El-Gomhouria, El-Salam, and Floating Theatre.

Plays representing different national and private theatre troupes are competing in its various contests under the jury headed by Ashraf Abdel-Ghafour.

For the first time, the festival is hosting a contest for first-time theatre writers that will be judged by a jury presided over by professor Essan Eldin Abou El-Ela. The award is named after Abu El-Ela El-Salamony, the Egyptian novelist and playwright who passed away in June.

The opening featured a medley of composer Hany Shenouda’s scores of Adel Emam’s films, as well as director Hani Affifi’s opening show titled Rohna El-Masrah (We Went To Theatre).

A number of actors and theatre experts were honoured during the opening ceremony, including Ahmed Fouad Selim, Mohamed Abu Daoud, Mohamed Mahmoud, Roshdy El-Shamy, Riyad El-Khouly, Samy Abdel-Halim, and Salah Abdullah, as well as set designer Noha Barada and writer Mohamed El-Sayed Eid, in addition to actor Khaled El-Sawy who could not attend the opening. 

Various industry workshops are taking place alongside the festival, including acting training by Ahmed Mukhtar, directing classes by Shady Sorour, scenography sessions by Amr Abdullah, and theatre management lessons by Safwat Hegazy. Director Khaled Galal will also offer a session on career-building.

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