The ninth edition of the Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre, organised by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate's dedicated entity for heritage and culture, has officially begun at the Cultural & Scientific Association in Al Mamzar and will be held until November 11, 2015.
The opening ceremony was attended by His Excellency Sultan Saqr Al Suwaidi, Chairman of The Cultural and Scientific Association, His Excellency Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, His Excellency Abdulaziz Almusallam, Chairman of Sharjah institute for Heritage, His Excellency Dr. Salah Al Qassim Advisor at Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Omar Ghobash, Department Head of Drama at Dubai Media Association in addition to leading artists Dr Habib Ghouloum, Ibrahim Salem Al Bairaq and Ahmed Al Jasmi. Local and regional artists as well as theatre enthusiasts were also in attendance.
The Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre aims to celebrate theatre talent and this is in line with the festival's slogan 'Creative Talents on the Road to Creation.' It aims to strengthen cultural exchange by bringing together local and international artists by showcasing short plays in English as part of highlighting the best practices in the fields of acting, production and more.
The opening ceremony, with Mr. Saleh Al Bahar as the MC, started with the UAE national anthem which was played live by the students of the Emirates Symphonic Orchestra. The guests then observed one minute of silence in honour of the UAE martyrs who laid down their lives for the nation.
A film on UAE Flag Day was screened that had messages by Dubai Culture, the Festival Organising Committee, the Theatre Organisation, and members of the jury. A showcase of the plays being presented at the festival was also presented.
The opening was also marked by the performance of "Battalion 190" by Talal Mahmood, produced by Marwan Abdullah Saleh, featuring young Emirati talents of Dubai Theatre in partnership with Dubai Culture. The play embodied the values of patriotism, loyalty and sacrifice in commemoration of the UAE. The opening ceremony also witnessed a variety of heritage and folklore performances.
This year's jury led by Hassan Ragab, members selected by the Organizing Committee are: Faisal Al Darmaki, Aisha Abdul Rahman, Mohammed Al Ghaz and Mahmoud Abu Abbas.
"Celebrating Flag Day is the best way of launch the ninth edition of The Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre to further reinforce our loyalty to our leadership and country. We are committed to preserve the achievements of our nation that has elevated our reputation and we want every creative person, artist and cultural personality to highlight a message for the nation and participate in its development to make it an inspiration and role-model for individuals, family and the community," Saeed Al Nabouda.
"Dubai Culture celebrates with the public another edition of the festival with happy and proud feelings for the forefathers who established our nation. Today, the UAE is a symbol of modernity and development, and everyone especially artists and creative professionals should carry the message for future generations to continue to uphold the values of giving, development and peace.
He added: "We meet again in this ninth edition of the Festival for nine days to witness the arrival of more new talent, learn from previous talents and compete in creativity so that they leave their mark in building and enhancing the UAE's theatre scene with the support and guidance of the leading original theatre artists.'
Continuing an annual tradition, the Festival will honour the "Theatre Personality of the Year" for influencing the local cultural scene and inspiring young theatre talent in the country. This year the Personality of the Year 2015 honour will be presented to Ibrahim Salem Al Bairaq.
"Every year we are here to meet with our young talent and our audience who are as important as the talents. We are showcasing young talent and how they have grown over the years in terms of quality, content, production and the overall enactment of the play," said Al Naboudah.
He added: "We support the efforts of the young talent and laud their determination to showcase the best they can on stage this year. The Festival is a platform to appreciate their talent and creativity. We are looking forward to seeing our talents emerge as famous theatre professionals and the evolution of our theatre scene as an example for others and a real pride to our country."
The Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre is in line with Dubai Culture's vision to promote humanitarian dialogue among all, encourage intercultural dialogue and complement the goals of the UAE's leadership to enhance the welfare and benefit of citizens and residents.