Speakers at the International Theatre Forum (26 January 2012), as part of the 5th Fujairah International Monodrama Festival (FIMF), stressed the role of the festival in drawing attention to monodrama theatre.
The speakers explained that the FIMF introduced Arab culture and art to the international theatre and artists through the exchange of visits and the staging of events.
The discussion involved Mohamed Saif Al Afkham (chair), Tobias Biancone (Director-General of the International Theatre Institute), Birute Mar (Lithuanian artist), Jolanta Juszkiewicz (Polish artist) and Weislaw Geras (Polish artist and director of the oldest monodrama festival in the world).
The theme of the forum was the importance of monodrama theatre around the world.
Arab Theatre to the World
Tobias Biancone (Director-General of ITI) said that direct communication between Arab artists and the rest of the world through monodrama is very important. “Arab theatre has to be introduced to the world,” he said. “I’ve noticed great progress in the Arabic monodrama shows I’ve attended at several festivals and especially this festival.” Biancone added that it’s not fair to present good theatre and not share it with the rest of the world. He asked all Arab theatre artists to take their shows to different parts of the world, as it is the best way to promote their ideas and their art.
Forging Relationship With Audience
Mar said she was surprised with the response after her first show at the 1st FIMF. She said, “I can honestly say now, in this edition of the festival, that things became very different after a relationship has been established between the theatre and the audience.” She said that a festival opens up the artists to the world and this is very important for Arab culture, thus heightening the significance of the Fujairah International Monodrama Festival.
Arab Theatre Showcased at Polish Festival
Weislaw Geras, director of the Polish Monodrama Festival, said that his was the oldest festival, starting 46 years ago. He paid tribute to Mohamed Saif Al Afkham (Director of the Fujairah Monodrama) for attending the Polish festival and opening delegates to the richness of Arab theatre. On his visit Al Afkham presented a lecture on Arab theatre to the Polish festival that was followed with an ‘Arabic Day’ that included the performance of two Arabic shows. This Arab theme was a first for Poland.
Geras announced that the Polish festival will publish ten books this year, seven of which are about Polish actors and three about actors from other countries. He affirmed that these publications stimulate communication and provide information for all theatre enthusiasts in the world. A new book with 68 articles recently published in Poland focuses solely on monodrama theatre.
Artists Exposed to Different Cultures
Jolanta Juszkiewicz talked about her artistic career in Poland and Australia saying that her time in Australia was an important factor in increasing her knowledge of different cultures. With over 200 cultures, Australia is a melting pot for all cultures, which is important for promoting understanding and peace in the world.
Juszkiewicz, who was attending the FIMF for the first time said that she enjoyed the Fujairah festival atmosphere. “I’ve benefited a lot from this experience of Arab culture, she said. “I’m currently planning to visit future shows that stem from the Arab culture, which I respect and admire.”
Thanks to Mahmoud Allam for the above content and Hessa Al Falasi for her translation.
Fujairah to be Headquarters for New International Library of Monodrama, FIF, 27 January 2012.
Books by Mohammad Al Dhanhani Launched at Fujairah Monodrama Festival, FIF, 27 January 2012.
Sheikh Rashid Al Sharqi Attends Fujairah Monodrama and Heritage Village, FIF, 27 January 2012.
‘Arab Spring’ Featured in Syrian Play at Fujairah Monodrama Festival, FIF, 25 January 2012.
Leading Actors Visiting Fujairah Encourage Acting Schools and Versatile Theatres, FIF, 25 January 2012.
Fujairah Monodrama Includes Interviews and Conversations with Actors, FIF, 24 January 2012.
Spectacular Opening of Monodrama Festival at Fujairah Fort, FIF, 23 January 2012.
Image: Participants at the International Theatre Forum that was part of the 5th Fujairah International Monodrama Festival: from left to right—Weislaw Geras, Birute Mar, Tobias Biancone, Mohamed Saif Al Afkham and Jolanta Juszkiewicz.
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