THE SUNKEN CITY
BY: MAHMOUD ABOUDOMA

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Announcement

The sunken city is postponed to 2021
(New dates will be announced soon)

We regret to inform you that due to the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic that sadly affected team members of ATG, we reluctantly had to postpone our performance “The Sunken City” that was supposed to take place on 11th and 12th of December 2020 at the Jesuit Cultural Center in Alexandria.

بعد وقتٍ طويل من الاستعدادات والتدريبات والتي امتدت لشهور، نعتذر عن استكمال العرض لظروف وباء كوفيد ١٩ وإصابة العديد من المحيطين من داخل فريق العمل وغيرهم، ونتمنى لهم السلامة. هذا وسوف نستكمل تجهيزات العرض والاستعداد لتقديمه حال تحسن الحالة العامة.

 
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THE SUNKEN CITY

“The Sunken City” a new performance by the Alternative Theatre Group (ATG) written and directed by Mahmoud Aboudoma  will be presented on the 11th and 12th of December 2020 at Garage Theatre of the Jesuit Cultural Center.


The performance evokes an Alexandria at the bottom of the sea, linking it to memory as a city made up of memories and a city that makes memories: in either case, nothing is left.

This is a show about a city that has captivated and inspired several poets, writers and artists in its glory and in its ruin: Cavafy, Ungaretti, Amal Donqol, Sartorius, Forster, Durrell. Author-director Mahmoud Aboudoma brings all of these together to express how they feel about Alexandria.


The preliminary version of this performance, performed in December of 2020, this harrowing year, will test the limits of every element of theatre, from acting to cinema to music to visual arts, to bring out what lies within the confused space between nostalgia and sentiment, dreams and reality.


The Sunken City fights fiercely for our collective memory depending on the participation of many artists who have been occupied by the city.

 

المدينة الغارقة

المدينة الغارقة عرض مسرحي تقدمه "جماعة المسرح البديل –Alternative Theatre Group ATG" على مسرح الجراج في مركز الجيزويت الثقافي، والعرض يستلهم الإسكندرية المدينة المستقرة في قاع البحر ويربط بينها وبين الذاكرة باعتبارها مدينة خُلِقت من الذكريات أو خالقة للذكريات، فلم يعد منها شيء في كل الأحوال.

العرض يتحدث عن المدينة التي ألهمت العديد من الشعراء والكتاب والفنانين وأسرتهم بما عاشته من مجد ودمار مثل كفافيس وأونجاريتي وأمل دنقل وسارتوريوس وفورستر وداريل، كل هؤلاء يستدعيهم كاتب النص المسرحي ومخرجه محمود أبودومة للتعبير عن مشاعرهم نحو الإسكندرية.

العرض في صورته الأولى والتي سيُعرض بها في هذه السنة القاسية في ديسمبر ٢٠٢٠ هو اختبار لكل عناصر العرض المسرحي من تمثيل وسينما وموسيقى وفنون تشكيلية للتعبير عما يدور في تلك المساحة الحائرة الواقعة بين النوستالجيا والعاطفة، بين الواقع والحلم.

المدينة الغارقة عرض يسعى للدفاع بضراوة عن الذاكرة الجمعية ويشارك فيه العديد من الفنانين الذي شُغِلوا بتلك المسألة.

 

DIRECTOR STATEMENT

المدينة الغارقة عرض مسرحي يستلهم مدينة الإسكندرية القديمة الموجودة في قاع البحر بلا أمل في عودتها مرة أخرى، العرض يمزج بين التمثيل والحكي والموسيقى والسينما ويعرض مجموعة رسائل خيالية من غرقى المدينة القديمة بشكل يعكس تداخل الأزمنة، هذا ويستدعي العرض العديد من الشعراء والفنانين والكتاب الذين عشقوا المدينة، كما يتعرض العرض للتحولات التي طالت المدينة على مستويات متعددة.

المدينة الغارقة عرض يحاول رصد حياة المدينة وهي تحيا في كنف الطيف الواحد بعدأن كانت مدينة متعددة الأطياف يحيا فيها العديد من الأجناس، ويخلقون واقعًا يتميز بخصوصة ثقافية لها سمات مُختلفة.


محمود أبودومة

 

PROJECT ELEMENTS

The Sunken City

THEATRICAL TEXT

By: "Mahmoud Aboudoma"

Director and playwright "Mahmoud Aboudoma" has been working on the text over the course of 3 years including a research phase.

ACTING

Theater Rehearsals

After a thorough casting process, theater rehearsals for the production started in August 2020 with the participation of five Alexandrian theater performers; “Awatef Ibrahim, Khaled Raafat, Sarah EL Hawary, Yasmen Saeed and Eslam El Nagdy”.

SCENIC VISION

Statement by "Mohamed Gohar"

Every person has basic needs for life, as the American psychologist Abraham Mazlow said in 1943. He arranged these needs in a hierarchical order, according to importance. Among these needs is the need for a sense of belonging, which can be expressed in different ways, depending on the nature and type of this affiliation. For example, one of the simplest types of affiliation is belonging to a group of people who share the same place with all its data at the same time or in successive periods, which in turn shape this group and give it certain characteristics that distinguish it from other groups that inhabit different other places. This results in what is called the general culture of society.

One can not talk about a city without studying the society who lived, still, and will continue to live in it. And we can not talk about the culture of group of people without studying where they came from and what has shape them, it is a closed circle. Every city has positives and negatives, we all want to keep the city we live and belong a better place. In order to do that we need to identify the positives and
negatives. The expression of this identification normally comes in two manners, either criticism of the negatives or approbation off the
positives. In both cases if we do not build our arguments on real, accurate and deep studies, we end up in extremity. An extreme criticism that leads to hostility or extreme approbation that leads to fantasy. If we try to apply this concept on cities, we will have merely two camps, one is hostile towards something happening, meanwhile the other is nostalgic for something had  happened before. With an eye towards being balanced and not to be driven to any of those camps, we need to acquire better understanding of our present  without forgetting our past, so we can prepare for a better future. The linkage between those three pillars (past, present, and future) is what we call heritage.

CINEMA

Statement by film director "Ahmed Nabil"

I find it intriguing to be invited to accompany the creative process of a veteran theater maker during the making-off of what he would like to be his last play, The play that he uses to pay homage to Alexandria. The motive behind my film work is being able to accompany the creative process of Mahmoud Abou Doma and his team and explore the relationship that can be nourished between one of the most ancient performance arts, on one side, and Cinema, on the other side.
I have a huge passion for architecture and city memories. I understand that my films “17 Fouad Street” and “The City will Pursue You” were also driven by those passions. In addition, the city poets’ biographies and texts have always been sources of information and inspiration that guided my work. For that I have been also drawn to this collaboration. As I feel at home dealing with a text that is inspired by the words of Constantine Cavafy and Giuseppe Ungaretti. 
The notion of being out of place and out of time are deeply rooted. This is the kind of feeling that you naturally acquire being born in Alexandria or being an Alexandrian by choice. I understand very well that “Nostalgia” is a safe zone for many intellectuals in our modern city. However, I also believe that it can be a tool to foresee the future and predict events as they tend to be mere reflections of past incidents but in different shapes.

MUSIC

By: Ayman Massoud

Over the course of 4 months, music composer “Ayman Massoud” worked on developing the original music for the production in his studio in Cairo. Inspired by his Alexandrian identity; Ayman brought the sounds of the sea and gulls to life in his music, and worked closely with theater director “Aboudoma” to achieve his vision for the show with mixing western and Egyptian tunes.

 
 

CREATIVE TEAM

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MAHMOUD ABOUDOMA

Playwright & Theater Director

Aboudoma is an Egyptian playwright, theatre director, university teacher and cultural manager born in 1953 in Cairo, Egypt. Aboudoma has played an influential role in field of arts and culture especially towards establishing the independent movement in 1990’s. He founded the “Alternative Theatre Groups” in 1989 the first independent Theatre troupe in Alexandria, where he toured locally and internationally

AWATEF IBRAHIM

Acting Trainer

Awatef Ibrahim is an actress, acting coach and a teacher at the theatre department, faculty of arts, University of Alexandria. She co-founded the Alternative Theatre Group in collaboration with Dr Mahmoud Aboudoma and as an actress, she has played distinguished  roles in several performances and played that were presented locally, regionally and internationally

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AHMED NABIL

Film Director

Ahmed was born in Alexandria, in May, 1984. With an interest in filmmaking and drawing, he joined the faculty of fine arts and studied mainly under the artists Adel El Masry and Farouk Wahba. He got his BFA in oil painting in 2006. He studied filmmaking under Islam El Azzazi in the Jesuits Cultural Center of Alexandria. Ahmed produced his first documentary “The Trip” in 2009 and he has joined a number of workshops with acclaimed filmmakers and artists . Since 2011, he has been dedicating the majority of his creative time to study and work with documentaries, either as a researcher or a filmmaker. His short documentary "17 Fouad Street" won four prizes in Egypt and Spain. His first feature documentary "The City Will Pursue You" premiered in the 19th Ismailia International Film Festival long documentary competition in 2017.

In 2020 he launched the podcast “Naddara Khashab”, the first cinematic podcast in Arabic specialised in documentary cinema.

More about him at www.ahmednabil.net.

AYMAN MASSOUD

Composer

Ayman Massoud is an Egyptian keyboardist, music producer and sound engineer. He is most notably known for co-founding the award-winning rock band Massar Egbari, with which he has been performing since 2004.
Born in Alexandria in 1978, Ayman started dabbling with the keyboard at a young age. In the late 1990s, he joined El Hob Wel Salam, one of the earliest independent bands to emerge from Alexandria.
Ayman met French singer and trumpeter Benoit Fabry some years later, during his three-year stint in Alexandria. Fabry was looking to put together a band, so Ayman jumped on board. He introduced Fabry to two of his school friends — guitarist Mahmoud Siam and drummer Tamer Attallah — as well as his squash mate Ahmed Hafez, who is also a guitarist. They started off jamming on Hafez’s rooftop, and in 2004, along with singer and songwriter Hany El-Dakkak, the five men formed Massar Egbari.
n the 15 years that followed, Massar Egbari went on to top the charts, cementing its place as one of the most successful bands in the region. Over the years, Ayman made a name for himself by performing in key venues such as Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Qaitbay Citadel, the Roman Amphitheatre in Alexandria, as well as the Cairo Opera House and El Sawy Culturewheel, where he captivated thousands of fans.

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MOHAMED GOHAR

Architect

Senior designer architect, artist and researcher with 15 years’ experience. His practice spans projects in housing, institutional and public buildings within Egypt and the Arab region, focusing on designing within historical fabrics. Having particular emphasis on historical roots of traditional local architecture and its connection to the modern society. He founded Description of Alexandria. A documentation project for the cultural heritage of the city of Alexandria, seeking to document the heritage of the city and its architectural and cultural memories, presenting a true and actual image of today’s Alexandria and the recollections of the past. It also seeks to enhance the engagement of the society in preserving their legacy through a long-term awareness. His responsibilities are ranging between conducting both field survey and academic researches about the endangered architectural built heritage in the city. Working on producing preliminary architectural documentation about the buildings as well as the related historical narrative. By working individually and with voluntary teams of young architects and artist, he is trying to shed light on the importance of our heritage, through studying the social history and its impact on the modern society. The aim is to spread the acquired knowledge by making them available online and through lectures and public talks.

 

ENSEMBLE

AWATEF IBRAHIM

KHALED RAAFAT

SARAH EL HAWARY

YASMEN SAEED

ESLAM EL NAGDY

 

CREDIT LIST

 

PLAYWRIGHT & THEATER DIRECTOR

Mahmoud Aboudoma

ACTING TRAINER

Awatef Ibrahim

CREATIVE PRODUCER

Amina Abo Doma

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR & PRODUCER

Tarek Nader

FILM DIRECTOR

Ahmed Nabil

COMPOSER

Ayman Massoud

ENSEMBLE

Awatef Ibrahim, Khaled Raafat, Sara El Hawary, Yasmine Saeed, Eslam Awad

COSTUMES DESIGNER

Ola Mandour

SCENOGRAPHY

Remon Kadry
Ahmed Abdelghany
Mahmoud Aboudoma

SOUND

Remond Kadry

ARCHITECT

Mohamed Gohar

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©2020 by International Association for Creation and Training (I-act).