Ithra offers online classes for aspiring Saudi theater creatives

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Ithra is a project pioneering in innovation, culture, and knowledge founded by Saudi Aramco. The ambitious center began work on May 20, 2008. (Shutterstock)
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Hadeel Mufti
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Updated 18 July 2020

Ithra offers online classes for aspiring Saudi theater creatives

  • Saudi Arabia is moving toward an artistic vision, introducing this new realm of theater and performance as a new creative perspective

RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is continuing to cater for its online audience, despite the center having reopened to the public post-lockdown.

Ithra’s theater department is offering online sessions on a monthly basis, covering online classes and interviews with creatives free for anyone interested in attending.

As part of this online session, Ithra’s theater coordinator Hadeel Mufti is offering online classes in performance arts.

In an interview with Arab News, Mufti spoke about her extensive experience, her hopes for the future of the Kingdom’s rapidly growing performance industry, and her best advice for aspiring actors, directors, and performers.
“Watching professional performances at a young age created that ‘wow factor’ for me,” she told Arab News.
“I also joined a drama club at school where I started writing productions, directing, and acting in school plays. Since then I knew this was something I wanted to pursue. I enjoy the collaborative work and unity in creating productions, as well as that sense of achievement when a vision becomes a reality that can be enjoyed with others.”
Mufti got a bachelor’s degree in drama and theatrical studies from Royal Holloway in London before traveling to Dubai, where she gained experience with several performing arts companies. She obtained a master’s degree in theater directing from the Guildford School of Acting.
Since graduating in 2017, she has lived in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and works as a theater coordinator at Ithra.
She is also a performing arts trainer who enjoys working with other actors and sharing her knowledge. Her areas of expertise include physical theater, puppetry, and improve.

 

I’ve learned a lot about the performing arts abroad, and now coming back to Saudi Arabia, I feel like it’s time I share what I’ve learned and show how fascinating theater really is.

Hadeel Mufti, Theater Coordinator

“I’ve always been passionate about working with people and developing projects collectively. I’ve learned a lot about the performing arts abroad, and now coming back to Saudi Arabia, I feel like it’s time I share what I’ve learned and show how fascinating theater really is,” she said.
Mufti has wanted to be a director since she was at school, a career choice she was happy to say she thought was more viable now than it ever was in the past.
“Back in school, I told everyone that I aspired to be a theater director. It would always get followed by questions such as, ‘how will I pursue it?,’ ‘why do I want it?’ and ‘where will I do it?’ I guess Saudi wasn’t ready for this back then. And now, Saudi Arabia is moving toward an artistic vision, introducing this new realm of theater and performance as a new creative perspective,” she said.
She believed that the changes happening in Saudi Arabia now, along with current initiatives and support for the arts from the government, meant that Saudi youth had opportunities that were previously lacking.
“This is a dream that the youth of today can work toward. What’s great is that there is that push and encouragement from the Saudi Theater (and Performing Arts) Authority and the Saudi National Theater, driving us toward this new field of performing arts.”
Mufti said the evolving nature of the performing arts industry meant people may be a little fearful of trying something new and outside their comfort zone, but she advised them to go ahead and try it out anyway.
“If you see yourself as an amateur in the arts then that’s great, you can push yourself to be somebody who is experienced or somebody who is professional in the field. Apart from performing, you can work behind the curtain and I’m sure you’ll find something that suits you. Either way, the theater is fun, challenging, and ever-changing,” she said.


G20 trade and investment ministers discuss COVID-19 response under Saudi Arabia's presidency

Updated 17 min 48 sec ago

G20 trade and investment ministers discuss COVID-19 response under Saudi Arabia's presidency

RIYADH: The trade and investment ministers of the G20 nations met virtually on Tuesday under the presidency of Saudi Arabia to strengthen trade and investment cooperation.
The ministers agreed to continue cooperation to support the recovery of international trade and investment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They also agreed to support the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to which the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the WTO provides political support.
Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's minister of investment, said the collective G20 response to COVID-19 had started to deliver early signs of a “resilient, and stable economic recovery.”
“As policymakers, it is our duty to prioritize the most vulnerable in our societies, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and Saudi Arabia stands ready to endorse the G20 policy guidelines for MSMEs,” Falih said.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qasabi told the meeting that measures adopted by the G20 in May were “critical for sustaining the flow of essential goods and services across borders and limiting the human toll of the pandemic.”