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DJEDDAH: The curtain rises on a new era for the Saudi performing arts with the creation of an association dedicated to the theater.

As part of the Kingdom’s cultural transformation, the new body will provide an umbrella organization for performers while attracting and promoting new talent and expertise.

Saudi Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi said the association would bring together professionals from the worlds of theater, folk arts, circus, comedy and dance.

Led by Saudi actor Nasser Al-Qasabi, the association’s board will include academic researcher Sami Al-Jamaan, actors Rashid Al-Shamrani, Sami Al-Zahrani and Fatima Al-Banawi, director Khaled Al -Baz, actor and playwright Yasser Madkhali, writer Fahd Al-Hoshani, kinetic artist Roaa Al-Sahhaf, comedian Yasser Bakr and Saudi ballerina Samira Alkhamis.

The performing arts have been part of human culture through the ages and have even been used as a means of educating people about the negative impact of social practices.

However, although well represented in the West, it is only recently that theatrical performances and their performers have been supported in the Kingdom by official bodies such as the Theater and Performing Arts Commission of the Ministry of Culture, put in place within the framework of the National Strategy for Culture.

In a tweet, the association’s president, Al-Qasabi, said, “I am honored to work with my colleagues in the new association to overcome difficulties and advance this noble profession. In a few months, the work of the association will be launched, and we look forward to your participation in a new creative journey.

The performing arts are seen to have benefits at the personal, social and community levels, with live theater helping to encourage social dialogue, highlight problems and provide an outlet for society to find solutions to problems. .

STRONG POINTS

• The Ministry of Culture is behind a number of important organizational initiatives and developments that have taken place in the Saudi theater sector this year.

• These include the creation of the National Theater, then the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, and partnership projects with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development to improve professionalism in the sector.

Mohammed Al-Subaih, director of the Jeddah-based Saudi Society for Culture and the Arts, described the creation of the new association as “a most welcome move” that would provide a strong voice for performers in Saudi Arabia.

He told Arab News: “It will certainly help the work of actors and performers and also raise the level of work in Saudi theater. “

Saudi actor Abdullah Al-Sinani said: “(The association is) a wonderful step that reinforces our continuing ambition towards the status of Saudi theater superlatives. I wish the association and its members success in enriching the local theatrical movement.

In a tweet, Wael Al-Harbi said: “I was honored to be chosen as a founding member of the First Association for Theater and Performing Arts.

And Sultan Al-Bazie, Director General of the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, said: “We expect the association to be an active element in the development of the sector.

The Ministry of Culture is behind a number of important organizational initiatives and developments that have taken place in the Saudi theater sector this year.

These include the creation of the National Theater, then the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, and partnership projects with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development to improve professionalism. in the area.

In 2016, the General Entertainment Authority was formed, followed by the Committee on Literature, Publishing and Translation last year. The current Cinema Society recording will represent the first specialized civilian body of its kind in the Kingdom concerned with the film industry.

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