Society & Culture

Groups Role in Sudanese Theater Development


Al Sir Al Sayed

Theater is the first type of arts of Western origin to be known for Sudanese. It was a predecessor to the short story, the novel, cinema, and modern visual arts. It is considered the first to be known by modern organizations and theatrical groups since the twenties of the last century, when the Graduate Club troupe was founded in the year 1920, led by the theater pioneer Siddiq Farid.

Since its inception, Sudanese theater has known many theatrical troupes in every era, such as the Sudan Acting and Music group , Al-Fadil Saeed Group , Al Sayala Arts Association, the Friends Group , Al Nahda , Tirab Theater , and the Sea Ports Group for example.

The names of the bands and groups varied, their names carried many deep connotations and beautiful memories. Some of them took proper names of people and cities, such as the “Al-Fadil” Saeed band , “Omdurman” theatrical band, some of them took a name with political symbolic loads, such as the “Azza” band and the “Al ard” band. What is in the theatrical dictionary such as the “theater” group the Experimental Workshop, the Continuing Workshop for the Development of Performing Arts, the Mobile Theatrical Workshop, and the Shouf Theater Group.

Some of them took a name from a theatrical performance presented by the group, such as the Sadeem Theater Group. “Sadeem” is a theatrical text produced by the group and was written by the poet Adonis. Some of them took a name that mimicked the name of a troupe. Famous outside Sudan as the “Theater” group Al-Hur and Adwaa Al-Masrah band.

These theater groups represented a phenomenon that was deeply rooted and different in Sudanese life, we can reveal some of what they presented in the journey of Sudanese theater, despite the hardship that the theater is experiencing now.

We can say that :
1. Despite everything, it is considered a healthy phenomenon . In a way, it indicates the penetration of the theatrical phenomenon into the lives of Sudanese. It also indicates, on the other hand, and indirectly, the contribution of theater in consolidating the culture of civil organizations.

2- The greatest achievements of theatrical life in Sudan, so to speak, came from it and were because of it. It is enough to take a look at the history of the Sudanese theatrical performance to feel for yourself what it presented.

3- It constituted the only source of income for many of the demobilized and was their means of a decent life, as in the experience of the Friends and Al-Fadil Saeed Band, for example.

4- These groups and troupe , especially those that played great roles and stopped, revealed the deliberate and organized neglect that the theater suffers at the hand of the government, represented by the Ministry of Culture and the official theater institution.

5- The absence of what I call “organizational and administrative” awareness, as one of the reasons for the decline and cessation of some of them, revealed the need of our theatrical movement for this awareness. There is no creativity without management and organization. This awareness could have been found if these groups and troupe searched for other sources of funding and managed many Its differences through institutional and democratic dialogue.

We hope to witness a new birth and creative roles for theater groups in the post-war period.

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