The Middle East Theatre Academy in partnership with the Kevin Spacey Foundation hosted an exclusive performance of “Dhow Under the Sun”, a play performed at Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Arts by 34 aspiring young talents from 11 Arab countries.
The play marked the culmination of Home Grown theatrical arts programme, which was launched under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, with the aim of encouraging self-belief, expanding horizons and developing the capacity of young artistic talents.
The opening performance was performed in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. It was also attended by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sheikha Hoor bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Art Foundation, Sheikh Khalid Bin Essam Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Civil Aviation, and Sheikh Salem bin Abdul Rahman Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Office of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.
Oscar-winning actor and theatre veteran Kevin Spacey was also present along with dramatists, artists, and theatre enthusiasts as well as media representatives.
‘Dhow Under the Sun’, performed by a group of young talents from 11 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, provides artistic insight into a host of humanitarian and social issues on the global arena at present.
Written by Iraqi playwright Hassan Abdul Razzak, the play was performed in both Arabic and English. The performance depicts the lives of refugees and paradoxes they live through, and also throws light on commonalities and differences between human beings as they strive to achieve what they aspire to accomplish, in the face of various challenges and obstacles.
In his opening statement prior to the performance, Badr Jafar, Co-Founder of the Middle East Theatre Academy, said: “We are doing this in celebration of the role of the arts in the societal, cultural, and economic development of our region, and providing unique opportunities to help our young men and women reach their highest potential.”
Speaking on the occasion, Kevin Spacey said: “The participants are a real mixture of abilities from the relatively experienced to the newly enthusiastic. In many ways, just as the UAE was brought together by the spirit of men who believed that they could unite all under one banner, tonight we celebrate that spirit by bringing together these young, remarkable talents from many different places as well, in a world where diversity is celebrated and humanity comes first.”
The philanthropic Home Grown project provided an unparalleled opportunity, free of charge, to youth across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to develop their performance skills. This programme encourages self-belief and expands horizons, developing the capacity of youth, providing them with everyday life skills to help their development and personal growth. Participants in the programme will have an opportunity to gain insight in the areas of physicality, movement, voice, characterisation, staging and stage craft.
The participants in the programme were from 11 Arab countries: the UAE, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Tunis, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, KSA, and Yemen.