La Gazetta clown show.
La Gazetta clown show at the Acre festival. Photo by Achbar Ha'ir
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Once a year, among the ancient ruins and historical sites, the old city of Acre – a UNESCO World Heritage site that draws thousands of visitors a year – becomes a playground of edgy contemporary theater, featuring a number of Israeli and international artists who test the limits of theatrical conventions and promote innovative forms of artistic expression.

The festival includes everything from quirky comedies and heavy historical dramas to avant-garde performance-art pieces and street theater. Families can enjoy carnival-themed events, like a street parade of huge marionettes, an aerial acrobatics extravaganza, and shows by jugglers, clowns and other circus performers.

Also featured are works inspired by the city of Acre itself, such as Jewish-Arab co-productions that promote dialogue and engagement between the communities. The collaborative spirit extends to interactive art, workshops, and community-orientated projects like a photography exhibition that documents the city through the eyes of local children.

You can also catch documentary film screenings, take in a concert showcasing traditional Middle Eastern instruments, or try to spot the next big thing at one of the nightly gigs featuring up-and-coming musicians.  

The festival runs from Monday, October 1 through Thursday, October 4 with some pre-opening shows scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30. For more details, head to: www.accofestival.co.il