A unique project in the Arab World, Studio Emad Eddin ( SEE ) offers rehearsal, training and residency space to independent troupes and artists in the field of performing arts in Egypt, the Arab World and, in the case of residencies, internationally. The aim of SEE is to strengthen the field of performing arts in Egypt, advocating cooperation and trust among artists, a policy of open access and promoting contacts and links among Egyptian, regional and international artists.


Studio Emad Eddin is a home for performing artists, especially independent artists. It offers them a meeting point and a window on the art and culture of Egypt and the world, as well as services and programs designed to support and develop the performing arts.


Our mission is to create an artistic and cultural atmosphere which is neutral and alternative, one which expands the foundation of artistic practice and helps independent performing artists in Egypt to establish continuity in developing, creating and linking them with the outside world. SEE aims to create and maintain A work space open to all independent artists on an equal basis for rehearsals and local and international workshops and seminars

SEE aims to create and maintain

A work space open to all independent artists on an equal basis for rehearsals and local and international workshops and seminars A resource center offering access to internet facilities and to a database consisting of profiles of members (independent artists, troupes), as well as performance, training and funding opportunities. Residencies for local, regional and international artists who want to research the performing arts field in Egypt , who are collaborating with Egyptian artists on artistic projects and/or who are conducting workshops in Egypt . A support center that provides the region’s first two year comprehensive course in arts management.



Studio Emad Eddin was founded by Ahmed El Attar, an Egyptian independent theater director who has been working in the independent performing arts field since 1992 and whose work has received national, regional and international acclaim.

The establishment of the Studio came out of El Attar’s personal experience in the field, his struggle to work in an environment that presents many obstacles to creative work. More than 15 years since its birth, the independent theater movement in Egypt continues to be faced with various problems and obstacles that threaten its existence and continuity. These include the lack of legal status for artists and independent troupes that this lack of production funds, rehearsal and performing space and lack of technical crew willing to work in an independent context, lack of a network mechanism that can bring in the new generation of directors, writers and troupes, lack of managerial and administrative skills, lack of contact with colleagues and exposure to work in the regional and international theatre scenes and general lack of solidarity and sense of community among the different independent troupes. Over the years members of the independent movement have learned to cope with some of these constraints and have found temporary solutions that enable them to continue working: – working under the umbrella of public theaters, foreign cultural centers and/or established organisations temporarily solves the problem of legal status. – the establishment of five independent performance spaces over the last five years, such as The Garage in Alexandria, The Townhouse Gallery, El Sawi Cultural Center, and El Genaina has eased the problem of performance space. In addition, some collaboration with public theaters and foreign cultural centers has provided the troupes with additional performance spaces. – the many technical workshops held in Cairo and Alexandria over the last few years have increased the number of independent technicians who are committed to the independent theatre scene. – finally, new and local sources of funding, such as the Young Arab Theater Fund (YATF) and El Mawred, as well as new collaborations with established sources, such as the government’s Cultural Development Fund have helped in the production of independent theatre performance. However, while these developments may ease the overall situation and rescue individual productions, they are ad hoc and do little to build a sense of community or achieve long-term impact in the field. El Attar conceived of the Studio as an entity that would address some of the most pressing needs that continue to challenge the development of the field in Egypt, such as offering artists – access to rehearsal space on a regular basis – rehearsal space remains a problem and many troupes still resort to employing their own homes as rehearsal spaces.



The Studio is legally registered in Sweden as a non-profit foundation, The Stiftelsen Studio Emad Eddin (SSEE) and is currently in the process of being registered as an Egyptain NGO. A unique feature of the Studio is its commitment to management turn-over: both the General Manager and the Director of the Support Center will train their assistants to succeed them. After a maximum tenure of 2-3 years, the senior management will leave their administration responsibilities to their trainees who will, in turn, train their own assistants, and so on. The aim of this feature is to produce a cadre of trained and experienced arts managers, as well as to avoid the pitfalls of one-man shows and empire-building.  

The members of the Board of Directors are as follows:

  • Mahmoud El Lozy (Egypt – Associate Professor of Drama at the American University in Cairo)
  • Kristina Nelson (USA/Egypt – free lance cultural worker)
  • Charlie Alstrom (Sweden – light designer, theater director Scenographer – Teatro Oscuro)
  • Ali Belail (Sudan – supervising producer, Field reports & Documentary Department, Orbit Television)
  • Samia Mehrez (Egypt – Associate Professor of Arabic Literature, American University in Cairo)
  • Rola Kobeissy (Lebanon – free lance cultural manager)
  • Karim Abdel Galil (Egypt – General Manager, El Ezz Ceramics & Porcelain Company)
  • Nehad Seliha (Egypt – Professor of Drama and Criticism, Cairo University, theater critic for El Ahram Weekly)
  • Ahmed Kamal (Actor at the Avant Garde Theater – Ministry of Culture)



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