ABU DHABI, 6th December, 2022 (WAM) — The Ministry of Culture and Youth has announced that its recently launched ‘Create Theatre’ initiative has received 21 applications from 13 local theatre groups. The applications will benefit from the grants within the categories namely ‘Local Theatre Tours’, ‘Enhancing Capabilities and Skills’ and ‘Foreign Theatrical Performances’ at the Arab and regional level.
The ‘Local Theatre Tours’ category includes performances within the UAE and supports tours of recent productions (no more than two years old), organised by public benefit associations or theatre groups registered in the country. This category received 11 applications, five of them received financial support of AED 240,000.
The winning plays within this category included ‘Samaoun in the Time of Pharaoh’, produced by Dubai Al Ahly Theatre; ‘Kurcum and Bazara’ produced by the Kalba Association for Folklore and Theatre; ‘The Creators’ by Zayed Theatre for Talents and Youth; ‘West Play’ and ‘The Night of the Spider’s Killing’ by Dubai National Theatre.
Khorfakkan for Arts, and the Sharjah Society for Folklore and Theatre (Modern Theatre) won a grant for their play entitled ‘Brilliant without Colors’.
The other two categories received five applications each. However, grants were withheld in the ‘Enhancing Capabilities and Skills’ category as the applications did not meet the stipulated conditions, while three theatrical works were supported within the same category.
Entries in the category of ’Foreign Theatrical Performances’ were supported with financial grants amounting to AED 270,000, to participate in international festivals and Arab and regional events. The Carthage Theatre Festival had the participation of the play ‘I See You’ by Umm Al Quwain National Theatre. Sharm El Sheikh International Festival for Youth Theatre, featured two plays namely ‘Wanted for Rubbish’ produced by the Yas Culture Association Arts and ‘The Slave produced by the Dibba Association for Culture, Arts and Theatre.
In her statement, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said, “We were keen for the initiative to keep pace with the aspirations of local playwrights and enhance their creativity. We are also looking into the needs of workers in this sector and providing them with a supportive environment that guarantees the continuity of creative work.”
“These initiatives help us achieve our vision of supporting local theatre productions and promoting them on the local and regional levels,” she added.
The Minister continued, “Theatre is an essential pillar of the cultural and creative industries, and it needs holistic development. The requests received through the initiative show the level of interest of various parties working in this sector to benefit from the incentive schemes. We shall continue to support and develop theatrical work and raise its level in order to serve creatives and spread Emirati creativity locally and internationally.”
The Ministry stipulates special criteria for selecting the entries. Grants are awarded to participate in foreign theatrical performances based on the merit and feasibility of the production, its originality and the director’s vision. Other criteria include the quality of the script, reasoned application submission, as well as the reputation of the festival in which the troupe seeks to participate. Grants for the local show tour are awarded based on the feasibility and merit of the artwork, quality of the script, how interactive and engaging it is, and the location of the tour in remote areas.
The initiative, which was recently launched by the ministry under the umbrella of the “Ibdaa” initiatives, aims to enrich the cultural and creative sectors, raise the status and importance of theatre as one of the pillars of the art sector, advance the theatrical movement in the country by providing financial and logistical support, and create a supportive environment to attract more talents and empower them. This in turn would contribute effectively to strengthening the national economy.
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