Riyadh: “The Mayman Show” guest Alanoud Al-Hejailan is educating Saudi youth “one performance at a time” after quitting a prestigious law career to combine her passion for entertainment and parenting.
In 2019, the co-founder and CEO, together with partner Sara Ashemimry, set up Dreamrock Entertainment LLC, which produces online Arabic content for children.
“It was initially called Azooz and Jude after IP. Then we changed the name to Dreamrock Limited because we wanted to do more IPs in the future,” she told “The Mayman Show.”
“Basically, we started off by producing online content for children in Arabic. We’d post them on YouTube and iTunes, Spotify and Anghami, and now on Shahid as well,” she added.
Al-Hejailan and her partner started Azooz and Jude as a platform for songs, nursery rhymes, original Arabic content and traditional Arabic music. “So that’s how we started and then we ended up creating mascots and doing kids’ corners, live events and the immersive musical theater as well,” she added.
Dreamrock’s launch “was very interesting and a crazy experience with challenges,” Al-Hejailan said.
“So, at the time, we would do live events in malls mostly. I mean, it was great. We got great feedback, but we felt like we wanted to do something bigger, more creative, with more impact. So, we wanted to do our own theatrical show,” she added.
The two partners then launched an immersive musical theater experience.
Al-Hejailan said: “So basically, rather than being a traditional theater where you just sit down and watch the show, it’s a flat stage and the kids are called on to the show to come up and be part of it, selected to help solve a mystery and there’s different rooms and the kids are really involved.”
The Dreamrock CEO and co-founder outlined some of the challenges involved in launching the platform: “First of all, we’d never done a show of that magnitude before.
“And second of all, we had to get into casting — training the actors. The mascots don’t speak because, you know, they’re mascots. So, we had to record voiceovers, so I recorded children. One of them is my son doing the voiceovers for the mascots’ voices.”
She added: “So we did that and then after we recorded, you have to, of course, do the whole production.
“So, you have to edit it, you have to put the background music and then also train the actors and the sound engineer, you know, the actors to give certain cues, and the sound engineer, to play certain tracks on the cues.
“It’s a very complicated endeavor.”
Al-Hejailan added that the Saudi Ministry of Culture was “very helpful” in the launch, buying 3,000 tickets. A range of companies and individuals also offered to sponsor Dreamrock.
“With the help of all these different parties, we were able to start the show last Ramadan in 2022. It lasted for three months.
“Thousands of children attended from public schools, private schools and charities. It was a really nice experience overall,” Al-Hejailan added.