A theatre in the round, arena theatre or central staging is a space for theatre in which the audience surrounds the stage. The stage is always in the centre with the audience arranged on all sides and is most commonly rectangular, circular, diamond, or triangular. The stage is usually on an even level with or below the audience in a “pit” or “arena” formation.
This configuration lends itself to high-energy productions and anything that requires audience participation.
In effect, theatre-in-the-round removes the fourth wall and brings the actor into the same space as the audience. This is often problematic for proscenium or end stage-trained actors who are taught that they must never turn their backs to the audience, something that is unavoidable in this format. However, it allows for strong and direct engagement with the audience.
It is also employed when theatrical performances are presented in non-traditional spaces such as restaurants, public areas such as fairs or festivals, or street theater. Set design is often minimal in order not to obscure the audience’s view of the performance.
Ta' Sakena (2017)
Ta’ Sakna (The Dormant Feminine) is a theatrical piece which takes audiences on a journey of motherhood interrupted by depression, mental health, and femininity.
It retells the stories of 12 brave women who are caregivers of children with various mental and physical illnesses and disabilities. The women were participants in workshops held at the children's clinic at Abassia Mental Health Hospital in Cairo, Egypt. The women came together weekly over one year, and by being empowered through storytelling, they were able to create this piece and give it to three actresses. The performance you will see is a carefully weaved collage of all the stories intertwined. An ode to their vulnerability.
A special Thank you to the 12 Brave women who shared their vulnerability, aches, pains, and joys of battling depression, Mental health and just being female in Cairo, your strength humbles us all.
The workshop and the performance are supported by the Kamynu Trust.
Set up This performance takes place in the round.
Duration: 45 mins
Cast: Abeer Soliman, Mona El Shimi, Mona Soliman
December 2017 - The British Council
March 2018 – Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF)
March 2018 – Theatre is a Must Festival (Alexandria)
March 2018 – Women by the Sea Festival (El Gouna)
September 2018 - Al Sawari Theatre Festival, Bahrain
September 2018 - Lebanon tour