Under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin Hamad Al Thani, Minister of Culture, the 34th edition of the Doha Theater Festival kicks off today. The Festival is organized by the Theater Affairs Center from March 16 to 27 in the Cultural Village Foundation (Katara), after a 5-year inactivity. It is worth notice that this edition of the festival coincides with the 50th anniversary of the launch of the theatrical movement in Qatar, where theater works during those past five decades enriched the Qatari community with artistic values, strengthened customs and traditions, and well reflected our national identity through many works featured by the Qatari art archive for their clear and influential imprint on the collective memory of the local community. The Festival includes a number of performances by community teams as well as performances by university theater teams (Our Youth on the Stage), in addition to many major and applied sessions. The shows are scheduled to start today with a play entitled “Six Characters in Search of an Author” by the Community College of Qatar, while the second day of the Festival will host the theatrical performance of “Beyond Sintara” by Qatar University. The third day,  March 18th, will host “Elephant: King of Time” by the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, while the fourth day will witness the performance of “Wadi Al Amyan” (Valley of the Blinds) by Doha University for Science and Technology on March 19th. On March 20th, a play entitled “The Council of Justice” will be performed by Lusail University, while on March 21st the Festival will host a special seminar presented by the Theater Affairs Center under the title “Qatari Theater: 50 Years”. On March 22nd, “Al Ghaba” theatrical performance is to be presented by the Qatar Theater Troupe. The Festival, moreover, will witness on March 23rd a seminar entitled «The Theatrical Experience of Actor Abdul Aziz  al-Jassim», and on March 24th the play “The Dolls Maker” will be performed by the Doha Theater Troupe. On March 25th, a seminar entitled «Theatrical Festivals: What’s Next?» will be held, while on March 26th “Dana’s Love Story” will be performed by the National Theater Troupe.
Finally, on March 27th, a speech will be presented in celebration of the occasion of the World Theater Day, in addition to presenting “Najma Theater” (Star Theatre) theatrical performance as well as a ceremony dedicated to the distribution of the Festival’s awards.

In its 34th edition, the Festival will honor actor Ali Hassan who is one of the founders of the art of acting in Qatar, where he was one of the first participants in the theatrical and television works and won several awards during his theatrical career during local and international festivals. The former heads of the theater department, also, will be rewarded in an unprecedented act of respect and generosity in the history of the Festival.

Mr. Abdul Rahim al-Siddiqui, Director of the Theater Affairs Center, said the Festival is full of many special seminars and performances that participants have worked hard to host and present in order to show the level commensurate with the value of this important event; which is happily received by the theatrical movement in Qatar. Mr. al-Siddiqui also said he was happy with the positive feedback of the decision to bring the Doha Theater Festival back to life, hoping that this edition will achieve the success all aspire to and serve as a new starting point for theater professionals in Qatar, and a motivation to present more featured works in the upcoming period.