Fujairah International Monodrama Festival is a prestigious gathering and celebration of the theatrical arts held in the Emirate of Fujairah once every two years. The Festival is organized by the Fujairah Culture and Media Authority and aims at establishing the presence of Monodrama in the Arabic theatre in general and in the Emirati theatre in particular, and contributing to the progress and development of this complicated and fine theatrical genre away from the sparkle of trophies and competitions. It also aims at supporting the young and talented artists who can contribute to its growth.
The festival was the natural outcome of the large and increasing interest in theatrical arts in the United Arab Emirates and in Dibba Al Fujairah in particular. The idea was borne out of the enthusiasm of a few members of the Dibba Society for Culture, Arts and Theatre who aspired to make Fujairah more culturally active by hosting an artistic event that is unique, new and contributes to the development of theatrical arts around the world. The founders have chosen a difficult theatrical genre that the Arab World was lacking at the time: the Monodrama. They presented their proposal to His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, who hailed the idea and gave directives to make it an international festival instead of a local one. Thus, the idea has evolved and the Fujairah International Monodrama Festival was born.
His Highness the Ruler of Fujairah supported the festival since the beginning and contributed greatly to its success year after year. The support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Fujairah, and the follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Chairman of Fujairah Culture and Media Authority and Chairman of the festival’s Higher Organizing Committee, had the greatest impact in achieving more success for the festival, which contributed in placing the Emirate of Fujairah on the world’s cultural and artistic map in the record time of less than a decade.
The Festival has succeeded in drawing attention to a very interesting and sophisticated theatrical genre and contributed to its development both in the Arabic and international theatre scenes. A large number of playwrights and theatre groups staged their shows in the festival and helped introduce and spread monodrama in the Arab world and internationally. The festival provided an active and productive environment for the growth and prosperity of this art through staging theatrical performances that met the festival’s required technical level from Arab and foreign countries, in addition to workshops and interactive educational seminars that are held on the sidelines of the festival.
FIMF has certain conditions for accepting the participating shows, which include: compliance with monodrama rules that rely on one actor only, avoiding the conventional treatment and presentation of the script which can be void of creativity and instead adopting a free and innovative style that satisfies the aspirations and artistic creativity of this genre. The festival’s organizing committee formed a selection committee of theater experts to opt offers in accordance with these terms and conditions.
Other activities of the festival include:
1. Daily after-show discussions and seminars where the audience is offered the chance to discuss the shows with their creators after the show. These discussions shed light on some aspects of the show and discuss its artistic vision. This represents the festival’s strong belief in educating the local audience about this wonderful theatrical genre.
2. The main Symposium which revolves around theatre in general and monodrama in particular with the participation of a constellation of specialists and experts involved in this art.
3. A daily newsletter covering all the festival events, documenting its activities and attracting audiences to the performing of culture away from the monotony and the dryness of the academic terms related to literary criticism.
4. Lectures, workshops and forums for exchanging ideas and experiences which enhance communication and dialogue among the participants. These forums contribute greatly to the development of Arab monodrama productions.
5. A range of tours around Fujairah to familiarize the delegates with the main archaeological sites and urban and tourist attractions.
6. Live and direct meetings between each of the participating artists and the audience to realize the festival’s message in the formation of a crowd turnout for this theatrical art and benefiting from a mature theatrical experience.