The Truth 2050: Standing ovations for futuristic play
The play Al Haqiqah (The Truth) received standing ovations for its realpolitik-cum-comic relief when it was performed at the Black Box Theatre at AUC last week.
Ahmed Safey, resident and co-founder of the Theater and Film Club, wrote and directed the six-act play that glimpsed a futuristic Egypt set in the year 2050.
"We're tackling issues such as education [and other areas] where we haven't seen any improvement," said Safey.
Most of the actors were new to acting, and Safey himself was directing an entire play for the first time; he has directed single scenes before.
The production was sold out almost a week before the premiere which was a "shock" according to Safey. The members of the Theater and Film Club have been trying to fit even more people into the auditorium.
The first act of the play features a simple enough scene with a family sitting in their home while they are talking about ordering food. With the plot set to year 2050, the play shows some similarities to contemporary times that much of the AUC community can relate to, such as family ties and the importance and dominance of technology.
Differences are also brought to the fore. For example, one of the characters says it takes minimum time for him to travel to Spain as if he were talking about going to City Stars.
Everything goes electronic in the second act as it opens to show a school with the students getting ready to take an open iPad quiz.
The teacher mentions that at some point in time, Friday was the only day during which important events occurred over the last 40 years.
The reference to the numerous protests that have taken place on Fridays since January 2011 is unlikely to be missed by the audience.
In one of the acts, AUC students are seen protesting about the tuition fees which have now been raised to EGP
One scene showed men being sold at stores like objects. The theme of this scene is family; one of the characters talks about how important her husband and son are to her. After her husband dies and her son stops contacting her, she went to the aforementioned store to search for someone who could keep her company.
Despite her loneliness, she still hopes that her son is happy and understands that having human contact is the most important thing in the world.
The rip-roaring laughter, frequently heard throughout the play, likely means that AUC students and other young people can easily relate to Al Haqiqah
One viewer stated that she enjoyed the play and "thought the exaggeration [of social events] was funny."
Recruitment for the Theater and Film Club took place at the beginning of the semester, but was brought to a halt because of the civil disobedience last month, which slowed down the process of recruiting "enough manpower," according to Safey. Nonetheless, they succeeded in the end.
The club has been a part of AUC for three years and Safey hopes it will still be active until the members' own children can talk about being a part of this club. The club's projects include one major theatrical production and one major film production every year, in addition to making shorter movies. The club is divided into many workshops to produce plays and films. Members are currently working on a feature movie to show next semester.
Monica Lisi, who began as a logistics member and is now executive coordinator of the Theater and Film Club, speaks of her experiences and says being a part of this club taught her how to make plans and "how to work under pressure."
The members of the club said they would turn their attention back to recruiting more members after the concluding performance of the play. The club is open to everyone interested.
Al Haqiqah was performed at Black Box Theater on March 6, 7 and 8.