Acco Festival for Alternative Theatre - 2004

The Acco Festival for Alternative Theatre is taking place for 25 consecutive years around the old and new city of Acco. In 2004 the festival celebrated its half-jubilee.

The festival takes place in Acco since 1980 and broke far beyond the city limits and became over the years a national, international festival, breaking through its own domain and festivals worldwide. The festivals contribution to the city is important, be it in marketing the city as a cultural, tourist and municipal location implementing cultural activity in historic location, be it as a means for cultural leverage for the city citizen in general and the old city in particular. The festival is also a central factor and a bridge for coexistence between Jews and Arabs, citizen of Acco and the state of Israel.

In the past years, many visit the festival on a regular basis. The police estimates reach about 250,000 people from all over the country.

In 2004 the four festival days contained over 300 different shows. Including 10 competitive plays, amongst them one in Arabic, while the others containing additional Arab actors and artists; 4 shows of festival veterans; a workshop of Jewish-Arab street theatre from Acco who took place all year long and in the Festival raised an especially moving show.

A common language workshop, which took place all year in Jaffa at the Jewish Arab center and put on an extraordinary show at the festival. The participants are Jews and Arab creators. The festival included new immigrant artists in the public spectacles and enlarged the street theatre and public shows. There was a co-existence location took place of the first time, where different artists and Jews-Arabs combinations appeared under the auspices of the European Union and Beracha foundation, in participation with the British consul in Israel. The playing instruments show included over 300 Jews, Arabs and new immigrants. With the participation of the French embassy, the festival hosted the circus artist Jean Batist, who received special commemoration in Avignon Festival 3004.

The artist-citizen project that lasted about three months in the city, took place at the Turkish bazaar and combined works of 22 Jewish an Arab artists. Stage workshops for artists and creators and a special evening hosting over 80 ambassadors and cultural attaches in an experience of alternative Israeli theatre with Acco flavor.

2004 was a very successful year for the festival. This year the festival saluted all the artists and creators who participated along its 25 years. There was a convention in memory of Shosh Avigal and a special book was produced commemorating the half-jubilee.

It is important to mention the support given this year to the festival by several important factors, among which the Ministry for Education, Sport and culture, the Acco municipality, the company for developing old Acco, the Beracha foundation, the European Union, Rich foundation, the Jewish Agency, the lottery, Art for the public, the center for immigrant artists and commercial companies.