FEST Committee 2023: Gulmira Jumayeva, Cornelia Groeger, Akash Awasthi, Alice Thomas, Hazem Elessawy

The 2023 FEST Committee expresses its gratitude to the previous Committee and All who contributed to keeping things moving in the right direction. Together with your support, energy and motivation, there is a new Committee that welcomes the challenges of 2023. FEST is ready to move forward doing what we do best…Theatre.

The 2023 FEST Committee consists of the following members:

Chairwoman: Cornelia Gröger

Cornelia is a seasoned actress and a lover of the performing arts. Born and raised in Kuwait with bilingual fluency in English and German she started acting at a young age and rediscovered her passion when she moved to New York in 2013, cutting her teeth on stage and film as the blue-eyed brunette next door with a deep, dark secret, a heartbreaking cry, and an infectious laugh! In her spare time, she plays the role of a marketing and communications specialist.

Returning to Germany in 2020, Cornelia joined FEST and rediscovered her passion for English Speaking Theater. She is excited to be working with a very motivated team moving fresh and positive vibes forward for FEST and the Theater World.

‘Get out of your head, be in the moment and LOVE what you do!’

Vice Chairwoman and Secretary: Alice Thomas

Alice is originally from around Frankfurt but grew up bilingually with English and German. She is a lawyer and has participated in some drama productions, albeit many years ago. She has lived in various countries in Europe and Asia and returned to Germany five years ago. Alice joined FEST shortly after, as she has always enjoyed watching, doing and generally being around theater and was looking for something fun and different to balance her busy work schedule. She is looking forward to working with the 2023 Committee in her new role as FEST Vice-Chair, while reprising her role as FEST Secretary. 

‘I am excited about all of the upcoming FEST activities and productions and will support them as much as I am able to, while contacting, cooperating and getting to know many (new, old and potential) FEST members!’

Treasurer: Gulmira Jumayeva

Gulmira moved to Germany from Turkmenistan for her studies seven years ago. In 2021, her work as a banker drew her to Frankfurt and she decided to join FEST shortly afterwards. She was looking for a new and interesting activity to do outside work where she would be able to acquire some artistic and technical skills, as well as meeting new people who are passionate about theater.

‘I am looking forward to meeting FEST members as well as acquiring some new skills.’

Ordinary Member 1: Akash Awasthi

Akash is from India, the land of spirituality and Bollywood. He inherited the quality of art and free speech from his family and has acted and directed in many productions during his time in school and university. He also performed in front of the Hanover mayor in 2019. Due to his profession as an IT Consultant, Akash has lived all over Germany and “EURASIA”. Overwhelmed and overjoyed with the English-speaking community in Frankfurt, he joined FEST as backstage help for “ONE WOMAN SHOW” and “PINTERESQUE – An evening of Pinter”. In the same year, he also helped organize the “E&U European film festival” with the support of the Frankfurt city government. 

“I truly believe in the ideology behind FEST. I am excited to contribute to upcoming productions and help make them successful”

Ordinary Member 2: Hazem Elessawy

Hazem is an aspiring actor from the land of the pharaohs. He doesn’t take his camel to work though, nor does he live in a pyramid. He discovered the world of theatre in his junior year at the American University in Cairo and has appeared in many plays since then. He was also a member of the “Khoyout” playback theatre group in Cairo for two years. Hazem first became acquainted with FEST in 2020 when he played Mr Pommeroy in a staged reading of Mike Riepl’s Dinner for Five. He then became a FEST member in 2022 and played God in Rich Orloff’s Can This Marriage Be Saved and Fred Narracot in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Hazem is a full-time cinephile, volleyball player, booklover and wannabe writer. And, in his free time, he “engineers” his way out of embarrassing situations.

FEST has given me many opportunities to fulfill my passion for acting and theater after moving to Germany. I’m excited and honoured to serve on the 2023 committee to ensure FEST continues to give other aspiring theater lovers similar opportunities.”