Minister of Education

King Khalid University, Media Center

Under the patronage of His Excellency, Minister of Education, Dr. Ahmed Al-Issa, King Khalid University is organizing the First Theater Festival for Saudi universities, which will gather innovators and performers hailing from all university theaters in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The five-day event will begin on Sunday the 22nd of Rabi' Al-Awwal in the Lasan Theater and the Mahala Campus Theater.

Ten theater teams, who represents numerous Saudi universities, are going to participate in the festival. Participating acts will be chosen according to the clearly defined standards and technical requirements of theatrical festivals in the Kingdom. By all means, it will have to be suitable for the recipient audience, namely the youth, in addition to the presence of a minimally acceptable level of technical participation.

With regards to the momentous festival, His Excellency, Prof. Dr. Faleh bin Rajaa Allah Al-Solamy, Rector of King Khalid University stressed that the University’s hosting and organization of the festival comes as part of its awareness of the importance of theater and its long history in human cultures and its active role in building the values of truth, goodness, and beauty. He commented, “Undoubtedly, holding the first Theater Festival for Saudi universities would contribute to the exchange of views and a diversification of experiences in our university theater programs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. University Theater has been a way to explore artistic abilities that creates segways to the world of art and creativity."

He pointed out that the spirit of youth is the real the winning horse. Thus, the Saudi government has paid considerable attention to promote this spirit of innovation in theater.

Al-Solamy also thanked HRH Prince Faisal bin Khalid for his steadfast support for all of the activities of the University and his contribution to the growth and development of the region. He thanked His Excellency, the Minister of Education, for his patronage and for his continuous interaction in all aspects that would help accelerate rapid development of Saudi universities in various fields. Rector Al-Solamy also thanked the Association of Culture and Arts in Abha for its positive partnership in the establishment of the festival.

In turn, the Dean of Student Affairs at the University, Dr. Abdullah Al-Aideed, who is also the Chairman of the Festival said that the Deanship is honored to host the first Saudi Theater Festival in its first release under the patronage of the Minister of Education and the attendance and participation of ten Saudi universities. He added that holding the First Theater Festival is based on the directives of the Rector. He clarified that theater has a significant role in improving students’ talents and in raising viewer awareness, in addition to its role in developing students’ knowledge, cultural and artistic experiences. Dr. Abdullah Al-Aideed emphasized the deanship's keenness on activating the role of theater in the life of University students through the establishment of the Theater Club, which has contributed to the cultural and artistic movement inside and outside of the university.

Dr. Al-Aideed related that the performances will include the following in the table below:

Representative Play
King Faisal University Al-Haqiqa
Taibah University Thokoub
King Abdulaziz University Al-Mathaf
Jeddah University Don Quixote on Snape Shot
Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University Al-Hasemah
Jazan University Station Does Not Leave
King Khalid University Beyond the Darkness
King Saud University Makasson
Taif University Coffin

It is noteworthy that the festival will honor several influential figures in the University Theater field in particular and in the Saudi theater in general. Furthermore, practical symposiums will be held after each presentation. A number of specialists in the field of theater are going to submit two symposiums about theater, the first will be about the university theater and the other about the Saudi theater, in addition to many other special events.

King Khalid University, Media Center

The Organizing Committee of the First Theater Festival of Saudi Universities, which will be hosted by King Khalid University from the 10th to the 14th of December, has unveiled the features of the festival, which is considered the first of its kind that gathers innovators in the theatre field in Saudi Universities in the presence of the Minister of Education, His Excellency, Dr. Ahmed Al-Issa. In a press conference held yesterday evening at the branch of the Association of Culture and Arts in Abha, the Committee pointed out that this festival, which will be attended by nine theater groups representing a number of Saudi Universities, formed to activate the partnership agreement between the University and the Association of Culture and Arts in Abha.

The Festival Director, Dr. Mohammed Al-Mubarak, asserted that it would be a platform to showcase the university students’ creativity and to invest in their potential and theater skills. He added with certainty that it will enhance the student’s self-confidence and develop teamwork skills. The Director further praised the great support that the festival receives from the Governor of the Aseer Region, His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdul-Aziz and from His Excellency the Minister of Education, who was keen to attend the opening ceremony.

For his part, the Vice-President of the Festival, who is also the Director of the Culture and Arts Association, Mr. Ahmed Al-Sarawi, said that the Association of Culture and Arts in Abha is pleased to participate with the University in organizing this festival, which is a definite qualitative shift of theatrical activity in the Aseer region in particular and in the Kingdom in general.

For the preparations that have been done for the success of the festival, the Director of the festival stated, during the press conference, that during the period of receiving the submissions, 19 performances were presented by different universities throughout the Kingdom. Nine of them were accepted after being evaluated by the Viewing Committee including the performance of King Khalid University. Mr. Al-Mubarak stressed that accepted performances were implemented only by University students. He added that the performances would occur in three theaters, including the King Khalid Theater, Qaryqar, Laasan Theater and the Community College Theater in Mahala.

Regarding the participating universities, Mr. Al-Mubarak pointed out that The University of Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University participated in a play entitled "Al-Kataytab", King Faisal University in a play named "Al-Haqiqi", the University of Taiba with a play named "Thoqob" and the University of Jeddah with "Don’t Shot on a SnapShot." King Faisal University participated with a play named "Al-Hasemah" the University of Jazan with "Station Does not Leave," King Khalid University with "Beyond the Darkness," King Saud University with "Makasson" and Taif University with "Coffin." Mr. Al-Mubarak further revealed that the festival will honor several influential figures in the fields of University Theater and Saudi Theater in general, and there will be practical seminars after each presentation, in addition to two seminars about the theater, the first on University Theater and the other on Saudi Theater, presented by a number of specialists in the field of theater, in addition to many other accompanying events.

In response to a media question about the expected participation, Dr. Maree El Habash said that the number of students participation throughout the Kingdom exceeds 100 students and that the theaters of performances accepted all categories of society.

About the partnership with the Culture and Arts Association, Al-Habash commented that it is considered one of the most successful partnerships and memorandums of understanding signed by the University in the field of the theater because of the expertise of the association. He added that the University is interested in developing the skills of its students through theatrical activity and providing many specialized courses in directing, acting and writing dramatic texts to refine the students' abilities.

As for the caveats that may obscure any participation, Al-Habash explained that the university has opened the way for all performances that do not contradict the values, customs and public morals that do not affect the public opinion, stressing the commitment of all participants to do so by presenting them to the viewing committee. He further related that he wishes the festival will continue in all Saudi Universities in the future.

As for the standards and technical requirements of the shows, the Vice-President of the Festival, Mr. Ahmed Al-Sarawi, confirmed that they conform to all of the requirements and standards known in theatrical festivals in the Kingdom. Among these standards is that the show must be suitable for the youth recipient category with a minimum acceptable technical level. One-artist shows were declined due to the difficulty of evaluation next to other group performances. Lastly, the participation of the theater of the child was declined as it doesn’t meet with the target group young people.

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