Traditional theatre will thrive, assert dramatists and theatre professionals at SIBF 2022
Lively discussion at Expo Centre Sharjah explores relevance of theatre in the digital world
Sharjah, November 04, 2022
Traditional theatre will continue to thrive even with technological advancements of the modern era, asserted panel members at a lively discussion titled, ‘Theatre in the Digital World’, held at the ongoing 41st Sharjah International Book Fair at Expo Centre Sharjah.
“From the days of Aristotle to date, the art world has passed through different stages, yet theatre has retained its status,” said former Lieutenant General Saeed Al Hanaki, an active member of the Emirates Writers Union.
Quoting Shakespeare’s famous soliloquy in Hamlet, Al Hanaki said, “When you hear ‘to be or not to be, that is the question,’ you instantly understand the advantage traditional theatre has over the digital.”
Calling for change, Dr. Amna Al Rabeia, a prolific Omani poet and keen dramatist, said, “We should not be afraid about the future of theatre; the stage accepts change and transformation as long as there is a passion for writing good plays.”
“I am worried about the future of theatre,” added panellist Dr. Mohamed Yousuf, an actor with a doctorate in theatre. “The traditional theatre has a different flavour, we don’t want to be controlled by computers or machines.”
Yousuf emphasised that while technology has advanced enough to replicate the voice of artists like the famous Egyptian singer-songwriter Umm Kulthum, the magic of hearing her sing in her voice cannot be digitally replaced.
Panellists pointed out that with the advent of cinema more than a century ago, although there was a growing belief that it would replace theatre, it has continued to thrive and stay relevant.