The much-awaited season of theatre in Dubai will flag off on November 10, 2014, at the Cultural & Scientific Association in Mamzar with the inauguration of the eighth Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre.
A flagship initiative of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for culture, heritage and the arts, the Festival will showcase seven plays in classic Arabic presented by professional theatre groups and students.
With a new structure this year, the eighth edition of the definitive festival for Arabic theatre in the region will be highlighted by the presence of a number of eminent theatre personalities, who will share their views on the plays at interactive discussions. In addition, there will be daily majlis-style critique sessions called ‘Festival Majlis’ which will discuss diverse topics with the aim of contributing to a greater understanding of theatre. The sessions will also enable the participants and attendees to further comprehend the dimensions of theatre including discussions on the link between Classical Arabic text and theatrical performances.
All the performances are open for free to the public, with the provision of simultaneous translation in English to enable a larger cross-section of people to enjoy the five main plays in the competition.
Yasser Al Gergawi, Acting Projects & Events Director of Dubai Culture, and head of the organising committee of Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre, said: “This year, we are redefining and setting new benchmarks with the festival that will offer a strong sounding board for theatre professionals and emerging talent to showcase their skills. Additionally, the presence of several theatre personalities will enable the new talents to interact and learn from experts.”
He added: “The Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre is a compelling platform for theatre talent in the UAE to shine through and make their mark. As one of the oldest forms of performing arts and very close to the hearts of Emiratis, theatre has a powerful role in engaging with the audience. The experience that awaits audiences this year will be even more profound as we have made a selection of plays with the support of the theatre veterans.”
Dubai Culture has announced the line-up of plays at the festival this year. All the plays by the professional theatre groups will be held from 8.30 to 9.30pm.
Quom Mutran by Dubai Ahli Theatre, directed by Marwan Abdulla Saleh and written by Abdullah Saleh Al Rumaithi (Nov. 11); Boqa’a by Dibba Al Hisn Theatre, directed by Mortadha Juma’a and written by Ahmed Al Majid (Nov. 13); Nokhitha and the drummer by Hatta Culture & Arts Association Theatre, directed and produced by Hasan Yousef (Nov. 14); Ala Al Hawiya by Dubai Folklore Theatre, directed by Hussein Jawad and written by Abdullah Saleh Al Rumaithi (Nov. 15); and Khaith Wayhik by Sharjah National Theatre, directed by Omar Al Mulla and written by Mahmood Abu Abbas (Nov. 18).
For the very first time, this year, academic organisations are given the unique opportunity to showcase their talent by both writing and directing their very own plays. They will also be able to glean insight and inspiration from experts in the industry through the discussion sessions. These plays: Al Haffar by Al Jazeera University, directed by Hamad Abdulla Al Dhanhani and written by Mohammed Saeed Al Dhanhani (Nov. 12, 8.30 to 9.30pm); Body on the Sidewalk by Ajman University, directed by Ahmed Al Shamsi and written by Sa’adallah Wanos (Nov. 17, 8.30 to 9.30pm).
Al Gergawi added: “In just eight years, the Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre has become the definitive platform to showcase UAE’s theatric talent. We are confident that the eighth edition of the festival will be the best yet, with stronger community participation and high-quality theatre performances.”
The Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre aims to expand the opportunities available for young aspiring theatre enthusiasts to take part in the event by providing them a vibrant platform to write, direct and produce plays, including those covering the concerns of youth.
From budding directors, playwrights and actors to technical professionals working on stage, costume, and lighting, and make-up artists, participants in the programme are geared towards strengthening their knowledge and skills in various aspects of theatre production.