The Theatre at Mall of the Emirates has reopened, with a schedule that includes a screening of Academy Award-nominated documentary For Sama.
With a trial run until May, the community arts venue, which formerly housed Ductac, will show a series of educational performances.
“Our objective is ‘Harmony Through Diversity’,” says Rania Ashur, founder of Art For All, the educational theatre agency that has reopened the space.
“Seventeen years ago, there was no theatre scene in the UAE. I felt children here were missing out on the joys of live theatre. I’d seen how much my own three children responded to it and loved it. It encouraged them to take more interest in reading, because we always went to see literary adaptations. It also encouraged them to develop an interest in drama, which led to them being more confident in public speaking – and improved their self-esteem overall.
“My dream was to bring these benefits to the children and the communities in the UAE.”
The theatre is not open indefinitely. The organisers said: “The new lease is temporary, and will be held for a few months to gauge how much Dubai communities require the space.”
When to see shows at The Theatre, Mall of the Emirates
Popular children’s entertainer Tom Gates’s run has already come to an end, but in the next few weeks, there is plenty to see at The Theatre.
On Thursday and Friday, February 20 and 21, see Fig Tree, Palestinian playwright Raeda Taha's journey to the Holy Land. She narrates the story of losing her land, her childhood home and her father Ali. The show is described as "a powerful and unforgettable narrative".
Family-friendly show Mr Men and Little Miss On Stage will be held on Friday, February 28 at 11am, 2pm and 4pm, with tickets starting at Dh90.
Divas by Jahida Wehbe, in which the singer will perform hits from some of the world's most powerful female vocalists such as Umm Kulthum and Edith Piaf, will be held at 8pm on Saturday, February 29, with tickets available from Dh200.
But it won't only be live performances held at The Theatre. The Oscar-nominated documentary For Sama, which was filmed inside besieged Aleppo and gives a first-hand account of war from the perspective of a new mother, will also be shown at the venue. The exact time and date is yet to be confirmed.
The Theatre, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai; various times; 050 880 5074; www.artforall.ae