HOME, an RA Project
A touring troupe of acclaimed music-theatre and theatre artists from Portland, Oregon touring with US State Department Arts Envoys
During their time performing, teaching and connecting with artists and young people in Egypt, the US artists made connections with several emerging Egyptian theatre and music artists, including the Cairo theatrical troupe ShakeSphere and music group Fabrica. The artists from their two very different cultures and countries, found a remarkably common language and interest in creating new theatre works that combine movement, music, found songs and personal narratives to reach audiences with universal and contemporary stories with impact.
After discussions with and encouragement with the lead organizers of CIFCET, to embark on an ambitious plan to create a new bi-lingual, Arabic and English, theatre work with music that the two groups would collectively build and rehearse together. Shortly after the US artists returned home, weekly video calls between the two teams began, and the theme and title of HOME was selected for the work, and the respective creative teams for the first workshop began to be selected.
With the US Arts Envoy artists returning to the MIddle East in summer 2020 for another tour, plans are underway for an initial June 2020 creative exploration period between all the artists in Cairo. A corresponding workshop will be led during the visit – with participating young undergraduate arts students at Cairo-area Universities, hosted by Cairo University, to both teach the US artists unique approach to community building and personal story creation via theatre – but also to train and select some of these younger artists to join the eventual finished performance as a ‘chorus’.
Future development periods, with the eventual premiere date and host organization, will be clarified in the coming months. Currently, conversations with CIFCET are underway about the possibility of work-in-progress showing of HOME at the 2020 edition.