Sharjah Performing Arts Academy Symposium

Peter Barlow opens a masterclass on contemporary actor training and directing at Sharjah Performing Arts Academy.

Date: 15 June 2024

Location: Sharjah Performing Arts Academy


Participate in the Riwaq al Fikr – ADMAF Talk Symposium next Saturday, beginning at 10:00am at the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy. As a start, Peter Barlow, Director of Sharjah Performing Arts Academy, opens with a masterclass, providing a topical dive into contemporary actor training and directing techniques, which will lead all in attendance to encouraging and new insights.


Following this, a panel conversation will take place concerning the future of professional performing arts in the UAE. The panel will be hosted by Peter Barlow, and include conversation with some key professionals, namely: Reem al Menhali, Emirati performance artist and playwright; Mona Kashoggi, an established theatre and film producer; Dr. Muna Obaid Al Suwaidi, Ministry of Culture advisor; Ahmed Almazmi, recent SPAA graduate; Beata Stankevic, Cultural Programs Coordinator, The Geothe Institute Abu Dhabi; and Stuart Every from Dolphin Entertainment. This discussion will involve the current landscape, what is new, and the difficulties for the professional UAE performing arts industry.


In the afternoon, there will be a masterclass on Musical Theatre in the MENA Region – led by Paul Spicer, Programme Leader for Musical Theatre, with an introduction by Professors Heather Davies (Programme Leader Postgraduate Studies) and Dr. Kathleen Bell, (Lead Tutor Research and Singing). The masterclass will explore growth, performance trends, and specific characteristics of musical theatre in the region.


The symposium will end with a networking session – mingle with the professionals you have heard from and participate in a discussion on future collaborations. This chance to join with the leaders of the performing arts and contribute to the vibrant cultural scene that exists in the UAE is a not-to-be-missed opportunity.


10:30- 11:00 am               Registration, refreshments and introductions

11:00- 12:30                       Masterclass 1: Contemporary Actor training and directing actors, by Peter Barlow, Director of Sharjah Performing Arts Academy

12:30- 1:30                          Lunch, (provided by SPAA catering)

1:30- 2:45                            Panel Discussion: The Future of Professional Theatre in the UAE


·       Peter Barlow, Director of Sharjah Performing Arts Academy

                                                Panel participants:

·       Reem al MenhaliEmirati performance artist and a playwright

·       Mona Kashoggi– theatre and film producer, writer and prominent patron of the Arts

·       Dr. Muna Obaid Al Suwaidi– Projects and programs Advisor. Cultural and Creative Industries, Ministry of Culture

·       Ahmed Almazmi– (Emirati Graduate, Sharjah Performing Arts Academy 2023)

·       Stuart Every– Producer, Dolphin Entertainment


2:45- 3:00                            Break

3:00- 4:30                            Masterclass 2: Musical theatre in the Mena region, by Paul Spicer, with Heather Davies and Dr. Kathleen Bell, Professors at Sharjah Performing Arts Academy

4:30- 5:00                            Networking

5:00                                       End of Day