Jedba at The Arab Theatre Festival 2014. ©Masrah Al Hal
Articles, Essays, Volume 2

The Arab Theatre Festival (7th Session)

The Arab Theatre Festival (7th Session) by Jaouad Radouani
 Arab StagesVolume 1, Number 2 (Spring 2015)
 ©2015 by Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publications

The Arab Theatre Festival is an annual event organized in a different Arab country each year by the Arab Theatre Institute.[1]  This year’s session chose Morocco as the host nation.[2] The Festival took place in the capital Rabat between January 10 and 16, 2015, and was attended by theatre representatives from around the Arab world.[3] This seventh version of the Festival also corresponded with Morocco celebrating the passage of one hundred years since the establishment of a modern theatre tradition there. This gave the festival a particular focus and marked this year as one of the most notable in the history of the Arab Theatre Institute.

Ismail Abdellah, the secretary-general of the institute, during a press talk held a day before the opening of the festival, confirmed that all indications promised that the seventh session of the Arab Theatre Festival, the “Moroccanized” version,  fully supported by the Moroccan Ministry of Culture, would be a great success as groundwork.  He added that the institute had been looking forward to such an event since its launch in 2009, and predicted that the occasion would constitute “a new turn in the history of the Festival.” The Moroccan Minister of Culture, Mohamed Amine Sbihi, announced during the opening ceremony that the seventh celebration, which was being held under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, expected the participation of about five hundred Arab attendants belonging to the field of theatre and performance arts, and that a hundred of them would be from Morocco. He added that the event’s effects would not be limited to the area of the capital (Rabat), but extended to reach other cities around the kingdom. All of the cultural centers around Morocco were activated during that period and hosted different cultural activities reflecting the atmosphere of the two ceremonies that were being coordinated: The Arab Theatre Festival and the Centenary of Moroccan Theatre.

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