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Six scripts have been selected to participate in the Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre (DFYT), which will be staged from October 19-26 at the Cultural & Scientific Association in Al Mamzar.

Organised by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the committee entrusted to review the scripts was headed by Professor Marei Al-Halyan, Dr Basma Younis and Dr Haitham Al-Khawaja. They received 11 theatrical scripts from various national theatres across the UAE that were sorted according to the specified criteria.

The texts selected by the committee included ‘Story’ (Qessa) written by Meera Al Mheiri (Dubai Al Ahli Theatre); ‘When the Curtain is Raised’ (Heynama Yourfaa Al Setar) by Abdullah Al Mheiri (Dubai National Theatre); ‘The Last News’ (Akher Khabar) written by Ahmed Al Majed (Zayed Theatre for Talents and Youth); ‘Dobie’ written by Muhammad Salih al-Sidi (Yas Theatre); ‘To Whom It May Concern’ (Lman Yahomoh Al Amr) written by Muhammad Salih al-Sidi (Kalba Theatre); and ‘The Frame’, (Berwaaz) written by Saud Al Zarouni (The Modern Theatre).

In a statement, Fatma Al Jallaf, Acting Director of the Performing Arts Department at Dubai Culture, said: “DFYT is a gateway for young theatrical talents in the UAE, whether citizens or residents. Each edition, we strive to improve the content and quality of the plays, discovering promising talents, developing their skills and enhancing their talents.”

Al-Halyan expressed his pride in leading the committee, emphasising the importance of the festival in highlighting young talents through its successive editions. He also affirmed that this year’s edition presents a modern approach through purposeful Emirati comedy towards empowering the UAE society.

“The selection of the scripts that were submitted by theatrical groups and their writers was based on a contemporary approach to highlight youth comedy theatre. We also took into account the artistic and aesthetic benefits required by the basics of theatre writing — an elaborate plot, the logical generation of events, the clarity of intellectual and artistic discourses, and how a subject is tackled for the young generation,” Al-Halyan said.

He added: “This year’s edition of the festival will witness interesting theatrical performances that will address audiences’ life concerns. Theatre reflects reality and reveals it to the public.”

Younes stressed the festival’s important role in supporting creative talents and guiding them on a journey to develop their skills in the best possible way, saying: “This year’s submissions clearly reflect the situation the world is currently living in light of the technological development and the chaos of social media. The plays will address these issues to our society in a youthful manner by playfully criticising the situation. They will also draw attention to societal issues and what technology wants to tamper with in a comedic style that carries a purposeful content that will resonate with the audience.”

Al-Khawaja praised the theatrical scripts submitted by the participating theatre groups, saying: “I admire the submitted scripts, taking into consideration their quality, ideas, diversity, unique visions and technicalities. However, this does not prevent us from saying that most of the theatrical scripts presented for participation in the festival tend, persistently, towards experimentation. It also draws from real experiences, so they are contemporary and heartfelt, resonating with what the audience wants to see on stage.”