Dubai Culture holds Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre 2022 Forum

  • The activities of the festival’s 13th edition will begin on 19 October
  • Paving the way for young directors and local production companies for citizens to participate in theatrical work 
  • Involving the youth in viewing and jury committees
  • As of 2022, theatrical productions will be comedic in nature – satirical literature
  • Continuing theatrical productions inside the country following the end of the festival

Dubai – UAE: Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) held the Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre (DFYT) forum virtually in the presence of members of the boards of directors of national theatre groups across the UAE and a group of young artists and local theatrical talents to discuss the 2022 edition of the festival in terms of content, presentation and mechanisms.

Dr Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture, said: “With each edition of the festival, we seek to develop the participating theatrical works. This contributes to increasing theatrical talent in Dubai, advancing Emirati performing arts on a global level, raising the level of awareness of the importance of theatre and the artistic taste for this art among all society members, and growing the number of festival attendees. The aim is to fulfil our objective of creating a sustainable creative environment for theatrical arts in Dubai in a manner that enhances its contribution to cement the emirate’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent as well as the global capital of the creative economy.”

New elements within the festival

Fatma Al Jallaf, Acting Director of the Performing Arts Department at Dubai Culture, said: “DFYT is a platform we provide for local talents to compete and gain recognition. The 13th edition will witness the inclusion of the youth in the festival’s committees: viewing committee and jury at a 10% weight of the total committee members. We will also open the door for national directors, within the specified age groups and who operate private artistic production companies, to participate in youth theatre works at a weight of 20% of the total participations.”

Purposeful comedy and continuity

Al Jallaf added: “Starting from this edition, theatrical productions will be comedic in nature (satirical literature) to enhance the role of social theatre and attract more audiences. The content will still be with awareness and responsibility as purposeful ideas formulated in an interesting comic form are often more popular. We will continue to support theatrical performances in artistic and cultural forums within the country even beyond the festival to ensure them the largest possible number of audiences.”

Date and location

The forum’s participants discussed several matters relating to this edition of the festival, most notably the mechanisms by which the festival’s activities will take place in a manner consistent with the social and economic conditions; the location and its duration were also determined, with the festival taking place from 19 – 26 October at ‘The Theatre’ in Mall of the Emirates. The forum also touched on the financial support provided by Dubai Culture for the production of participating works, the conditions for participation, the selection of the scripts, standards for performances, and all creative aspects related to theatrical work.

DFYT 2021 was held from 19 – 25 November 2021, witnessing the largest number of participants since the festival’s inception. The festival featured the participation of 15 national theatre groups from the UAE and concluded with an awards ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai, whereby 14 awards were given to celebrate acting, directing, writing, production, fashion design, makeup and sound engineering, as well as specialists in visual and lighting.