HH Sheikh Mansoor with Yahya Al-Hajj
The fifth edition of the Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre, a one-of-its-kind initiative in the UAE, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), concluded at a ceremony held in Raffles Dubai.
At the closing ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum presented an array of awards to the winners chosen from the 11 plays that were performed until October 11, 2011. The Festival’s ‘Personality of the Year,’ Yahya Al-Hajj, was also honoured, for his unparalleled contribution towards to the evolution and growth of the theatre scene. The closing ceremony was attended by Kuwaiti artists Abdulrahman Al-Aql, Dawood Hussain, Bassem Al Amir, and Qatar’s Ghanem Al Salithi.
The Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre was the largest ever this year – both in terms of the number of plays and audience attendance. The Festival witnessed unprecedented attendance, with over 4,000 people over the 11 days, while the number of plays performed this year was the highest ever with almost every established theatre group in the UAE taking part. More than 150 new artists participated in addition to eight new directors, and three new playwrights.
Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “The increased participation and enhanced quality of plays are a testament to the ability of Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre to drive the growth of the Emirati theatre scene, by offering a definitive platform for aspiring artists to showcase their creativity.”
In the run up to the Festival, as part of its expanded arts services, Dubai Culture hosted a number of workshops in scriptwriting and editing, as well as acting for emerging and established theatre actors, under the guidance of experts.
The Authority also hosted a theatre photography workshop to run through the course of the Festival, to help emerging photographers acquire the skills associated with capturing photographs of performing arts.
The fifth edition of the Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre was sponsored by the Commercial Bank of Dubai.