First theatre festival from March 18-28
DOHA QATAR’S first Theatre Festival will be held at the National Theatre from March 18 to 28, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al Kuwari announced at a press conference on Sunday.
Kuwari further said, “Theatre is currently facing the threat of extinction across the world. It is facing tremendous challenges even in countries where it has thrived over the decades.
Technological and scientific developments are now challenging the very existence of theatre. This has adversely affected in terms of audience size and interest. It is also difficult to find good scripts, especially in the Arab world.
The number of script writers has unfortunately diminished in this region. So, we must provide all our support for the theatre industry to overcome the obstacles and thrive again.” The minister further said, “In line with our National Vision 2030 and National Strategy 2011-2016, we want to give the theatre industry its right place in the wider world of entertainment. We have formed a committee in this regard. The panel is studying the challenges the theatre industry is facing today and will come up with its proposed solutions. They have already submitted a report. The panel’s recommendations included increasing the number of community theatre troupes working in the country, and increasing financial support to theatre arts in general, including sending theatre artists abroad for further study. They also recommended establishing new stages and venues for theatre troupes to perform in the future. We also intend to focus on youngsters and want to encourage their participation.” The minister stressed that they were currently studying a proposal to establish a theatre academy in Qatar, as well as theatres where the present troupes can get residency on a permanent basis.
“We want to establish theatre troupes outside Doha as well. These are in planning stage and will support the growth of theatre in Qatar,” Kuwari added.
The inaugural theatre festival will include a contest featuring four plays. There will be two additional plays, performed on the event’s sidelines.
Each play will be performed by a different troupe.
The participants include the Doha Theatre Troupe and the Qatar Theatre Troupe.
One of the two plays — performed on the sidelines — was held at 8pm on Sunday.
The closing ceremony will be held at 8pm on March 27.