Dubai Culture Launches 12th Edition of Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre 2018

Press release
Published October 8th, 2018 - 05:10 GMT
Opening show, ‘The Wise Poet’, Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre 2018.
Opening show, ‘The Wise Poet’, Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre 2018.

Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature, officially launched the 12th edition of Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre which will take place from 6th - 17th October at the Cultural and Scientific Association in Dubai.

Prior to the official launch, a press conference was conducted at the Cultural and Scientific Association in Dubai with the attendance of a number of representatives from the Authority, including Dr Salah Al Qassim, Advisor of Dubai Culture; Fatima Al Jallaf, Manager of the Theatre Section and Head of Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre; and Marie Al Halyan, ‘Personality of the Year’. The press conference shed light on the importance of the festival and its role in promoting the theatrical movement in the UAE and highlighted the updates of this year’s edition.

During the conference, ‘Personality of the Year’ Marie Al Halyan was announced. He is a media personality, a renowned actor for his dark comedy roles, and an author who is known as the ‘Ambassador of the UAE Theatre.’ He launched his career by writing poetry and after completing high school in the USA, he returned to the UAE and took his first step towards creative acting in 1973.

HE Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General at Dubai Culture commented: “Selecting the theme ‘Year of Zayed’ comes in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It comes as part of the mission to educate the community of the achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed, encouraging them to live by his values and transfer his teachings to the younger generation that they may be reflected through the theatrical performances and events associated with the festival.”

Al Nabouda added: “The festival takes into account a set of specific criteria to make it more professional in order to motivate participants to maintain the quality of the performances and adhere to specific contexts, thereby raising the level of competition among the teams. The ’Year of Zayed’ theme is a rich subject that will have participating teams choose from a set of timeless values and achievements for their performances. Dubai Culture anticipates that the competition will be strong among participants who will embody this precious national heritage in their theatrical works, showcasing it to the judgment committee and audience.”

Dubai Culture formed a committee to review theatrical performances by the groups participating in this year’s festival that evaluated and guided teams to ensure adequacy of content according to the festival’s criteria.

Dr Salah Al Qassim, Advisor of Dubai Culture, said: “This year's edition of the festival will be the most distinguished and will raise the level of competition among participating Emirati teams. Those who attend will enjoy illustrious performances rife with meanings and values derived from the ‘Year of Zayed’ initiative and the Authority has enriched the festival with various accompanying events that will delight the hearts of theatre lovers, both old and young, by granting them access to a myriad of performing arts that include comedy and improv performances. We expect the festival to have a significant number of attendees, especially since it is free of charge with the performances being presented at appropriate times for all age groups." 

In preparation for this year’s edition, Dubai Culture hosted three workshops as part of Dubai Programme for Youth Theatre. Dubai Folklore Theatre held two workshops: ‘Theatrical Theatre’ and ‘Preparation of UAE Literary Novels and Converting them to Theatrical Scripts.’ On the other hand, Dubai Al Ahli Theatre organised the ‘Theatre Directing’ workshop.

Fatima Al Jallaf, Manager of the Theatre Section and Head of Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre, said: “We expect this year's edition to be a great success and we are keen to provide a positive competitive environment that inspires everyone to be at their best in a way that enhances the performance of youth plays in the UAE and the region. We are proud to organise such a big event as this festival is important because it encourages artists to continue developing their skills, and motivates them to be creative and innovative so that a strong theatre sector that nurtures the cultural sector in the UAE and the region is established.”

In 2017, Dubai Culture held workshops to provide greater opportunities for young talent with the aim to host a new and more comprehensive version of the festival in 2018 to support the growing requirements of the performing arts sector in Dubai, the UAE, and the region in general.

The festival, organised by Dubai Culture, aims to highlight the creativity of theatre groups in the UAE, and provide a platform to identify the talents and potentials of actors, directors, authors, decorators, producers, makeup experts, sound engineers, visual display and lighting professionals, and fashion designers.

Dubai Culture aims to enhance Dubai’s cultural scene and draw attention to the UAE’s rich heritage. The Authority’s mandate is to build bridges of constructive dialogue between different civilizations and cultures to enhance Dubai's position as a creative and sustainable global city for culture, heritage, arts, and literature, with the aim to empower these sectors by developing creative and innovative projects and initiatives locally, regionally, and globally.

Background Information

The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority

The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) Was Launched on March 8, 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Uae Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Culture Plays a Critical Part in Achieving the Vision of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 of Establishing the City as Vibrant, Global Arabian Metropolis That Shapes Culture and Arts in the Region and the World.

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