The Theater Affairs Center affiliated to the Ministry of Culture inaugurated the book “Theatre and the Sea… A Reading in the Works of Abdul Rahman Al-Mannai” by the late writer and theater critic Sebai Al-Sayed, which was recently published by the Center, on the sidelines of the 35th Doha Theater Festival, which is being held During the period from May 16 to May 29, at the Drama Theater in the Public Foundation for the Cultural Village «Katara».
In a speech by the Center for Theater Affairs in the opening of the book, the center confirmed that in this edition it celebrates Abdul Rahman Al-Mannai, a pioneer of the Qatari theater, a distinguished playwright, a creative director, and a skilled musician.
In the center’s speech, it was not possible to talk about the Qatari theater without mentioning Abdul Rahman Al-Mannai and his theatrical works, which are abundant in quantity and distinguished in quality, indicating that he was aware of the importance of Qatari heritage and the necessity of collecting, classifying and presenting its elements, so he made it a material for radio programs, a topic for specialized magazines, and a field for research centers, but the most important use of heritage was in Al-Mannai’s plays, as we find his theater full of stories of the Qatari fishermen and their songs, and details of pearl hunting trips and the challenges that accompany them, which made his plays sometimes rise to the ranks of tragedy.
The center added in its speech that: Al-Mannai took the spectator in his theater with diving and fishing vessels, and also invited him to tour villages and cities, and drew with his pen the radical transformations that occurred in Gulf societies in their transition from fishing to the age of oil and gas, indicating that he also learned from international literature with What is commensurate with the Qatari environment.
The book is located in 150 pages, including a brief history of theater in the Arabian Gulf, and theater in Qatar, before proceeding to analyze the complete theatrical works of the writer and director Abdul Rahman Al-Mannai, starting with his play Umm Al-Zein, which was presented on the stage in 1975, to be considered by some critics as the true beginning of the Qatari theater. And even the play (Wadi Al-Majadir), which will be shown next Thursday as part of the thirty-fifth edition of Doha Theater Festival.
It is worth mentioning that the theater critic Sebai Al-Sayed Sebai, an Egyptian writer, translator and critic, born in Cairo in 1963, studied theater at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts – the Academy of Arts in Cairo, and obtained a Master’s Degree in the subject of digital technology and its impact on theater in 2017, and published many researches in theatrical periodicals Specialist, translated many theatrical works, and participated in research papers in several conferences and festivals.