Acco Festival for Alternative Theatre - 2003

The Acco Festival for Alternative Theatre is taking place for 24 consecutive years around the old and new city of Acco. In 2004 the festival will celebrate 25 years to its existence.

The festival takes place in Acco, but from its beginning in 1980, it broke far beyond the city and became over the years a national, international festival, breaking through its own domain and festivals worldwide. The festivals contribution to the city is dramatic, 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 200,000 people from all over the country.

In 2003 the four festival days contained over 300 different shows. Including 7 competitive plays, amongst them one in Arabic, while the others containing additional Arab actors and artists; 5 community theatres plays; 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, enlarged the street theatre and public shows, hosted a unique British artist with the assistance of the British embassy in Israel, hosted an aerial acrobatic show from France with the assistance of the French embassy.

A unique stage was established for Jews and Arab artists, working each night in an enchanted musical enclosure. The festival orchestra, specially established and consisting of Jews and Arab musicians, performed for the second year. The artist-citizen project, which took place for three months in the city; 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.

2003 was a very successful year for the festival, this in spite of the security fears and the shadow of the traumatic event in Maksim restaurant in Haifa. The festival proved maturity and character and the public put his complete trust and arrived by its thousands.