"So, you’re from Egypt?! What… You… Who… Are… What are you doing here?!”These are questions I was asked by most of the people I met during my stay in Terschelling Island. Don’t get me wrong, they were trying to be friendly.
“I am just a visitor.” I answered; but my concise answer didn´t satisfy the curiosity of those who didn’t know much about Egypt. On the other hand, I consider myself quite familiar withEuropean culture through my previous studies and readings, as well as the movies that I watch and the plays I attend in annual festivals in Egypt from all over the world. This is why I feel an urge to show an Egyptian play here. I also invited everyone I met to Egypt, knowing that they´re going to enjoy it, as much as I enjoy Holland.
I never compare, neither cities nor performances. For me, theatre is theatre everywhere. I was very happy to be part of the opening ceremony, with the talks about the financial cuts from the government. I felt like donating to the amazing Oerol, although the suggested 300 Euros for donation could be enough for me to produce a whole performance.
The best experience I had during the 4 days I spent in Oerol, was the Atelier. The short pieces used the surrounding in a great way, and with a limited budget, they managed to make wonderful pieces. For most of the big productions I’ve seen, their main focus was to impress the audience by means of visual seduction and the use of “cool” theatrical tricks. Personally, I am less drawn to this kind of approach to art making.
In Oerol, outdoors performances, in nature, using the space of the island and the different locations it naturally offers, was amazing to see. I am particularly interested in this type of performances because, in my country, I am not allowed to perform outdoors due to security laws as well as censorship regulations.
I had a couple of interesting conversations telling people about the Egyptian theater scene and its situation. I felt that some of them wanted to ask me: `You really have theater in Egypt?
Article for Oerol Theatre Festival’s newspaper, Terschelling Island, Holland