The eighth edition of the Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre, organised by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) has flagged off, once again putting the spotlight on the UAE’s rich theatre talent and highlighting the power of theatre to bring the community together for meaningful cultural dialogue.
Visitors attending the grand opening of the festival were treated to a fun-filled cultural and entertaining shows followed by an energetic display of acrobatic talent accompanied by The National Folklore Group, to kick start the festival in style and splendour.
Seven compelling plays are part of the festival this year, which is being held until November 20, 2014, at the Cultural & Scientific Association in Al Mamzar. The defining feature of the plays is that all of them are in classical Arabic, underlining the focus of Dubai Culture to support the call by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to promote the language and uphold its rich literary tradition.
The jury evaluating this year’s theatrical performances include, Omar Obaid Ghobash (Head of Jury), and Dina Abu Hamdan, Khaled Al Bannay, Youssef Yacoub and Mohammed Said Ahmed (members).
The eminent theatre personalities attending the festival this year will share their views on the plays in a Majilis-style interactive discussion session every day. The objective of these eagerly-anticipated interactive sessions is to promote a greater understanding on the art of theatre and enable participants to further enhance their theatrical skills.
Yasser Al Gergawi, Acting Projects & Events Director of Dubai Culture, and head of the organising committee of Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre, said: “Eight years later the Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre has undoubtedly established itself as the region’s most prominent platform for performing arts. It is truly enriching to see how the festival has grown each year giving us deeper insights into how we can further promote this gracious art form. We look forward to welcoming the performances and are confident this year’s festival will be one of the best spectacles in theatrical performances to-date.”
The participants this year include: Quom Mutran by Al Ahli Theatre in Dubai; Boqa’a by Dibba Al Hisn Theatre; Nokhitha and the drummer by Hatta Culture & Arts Association Theatre; Ala Al Hawiya by Dubai Folkore Theatre; and Khaith Wayhik by Sharjah Modern Theater.
In another pioneering initiative, universities and schools have been given the unique opportunity to showcase their talent by writing, directing and performing in their very own plays at the festival. These young theatre enthusiasts will also draw inspiration from the experts in the industry through the discussion sessions.
“We are pleased to invite members of the youth community to showcase their theatrical talent and look forward to discovering the next generation of inspirational performers in arts,” said Al Gergawi.
This year, the festival will once again offer simultaneous translations of the Arabic plays, providing a wider audience with an inherent understanding on one of the region’s oldest art forms.