On the western bank of the Nile River lies El-Minya, a rural governorate too often overlooked by tourists and public services alike. Amidst this seemingly bleak context, the Teatro Al-Saeed Performing Arts Incubator has emerged as a bright light for the burgeoning arts scene.


Launched in May 2023 with the support of the EU-funded CREACT4Med programme, the incubator has brought a burst of creativity and inspiration to the area. “El-Minya had been facing a lot of problems including the inability of theatre companies to sustain and survive,” shares Mostafa Mohamed, project manager of Teatro Al-Saeed. “For example, eight companies out of 20 closed due to COVID-19 or a lack of arts management knowledge.”

A company with a rich history in the performing arts, Teatro Al-Saeed aims to nurture the connection between artists and society by providing a space for artistic expression and creativity. “We have 12 theatre companies here in El-Minya with more than 200 artists,” says Mostafa. “But they are not yet accessing the training and workshops available in Cairo. So we are bridging this gap by fulfilling the needs of artists locally without the need to travel.”

Originally planning to incubate three companies, Teatro Al-Saeed was overwhelmed with demands and chose to extend its support to a few more. The happy participants are now benefiting from four essential workshops on arts management, acting, theatre direction and writing and scenography.

“The trainers, which are brought from Cairo, share their expertise on topics as diverse as casting, fundraising, and lighting,” Mostafa explains.”

Beyond workshops, the incubator will also offer crucial financial support to help theatre companies produce new performances. “We want to empower them to apply their newfound skills and knowledge, which will culminate in their showcases being held at the Teatro Al-Saeed venue”.

The Teatro team’s passion for supporting local talent and fostering a sustainable artistic environment is evident. “Our main goal is to have a vibrant performing art scene in El-Minya, Upper Egypt, and then all over Egypt,” Mostafa concludes.

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CREACT4MED, funded by the EU through the EuropeAid Programme, is a project aimed at empowering businesses and entrepreneurship in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) in the EU's Southern Neighbourhood. Led by the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA), the project focuses on fostering opportunities for young people and women. With a budget of €2,220,675, 90% of which is funded by the EU Commission, CREACT4MED is set to run from 1st March 2020 to 31st August 2024.

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