International performers, experts participate in AUS Second International Theater Festival

International performers, experts participate in AUS Second International Theater Festival

The Second International Theatre Festival organized by the Performing Arts Program of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at American University of Sharjah (AUS), commenced today, February 4, on campus. The festival, which showcases an exciting program comprising theatrical performances, lectures, open workshops and special playwriting and design sessions, will feature a host of prominent local and international individual and institutional participants.

The first iteration of the festival, which was held in January of 2017, proved to be a resounding success and garnered acclaim throughout the region for its performances and workshops. This year, an extraordinary group of talented artists from around the world who have dedicated their lives to theatre both in the professional and academic arenas, will be presenting theatre and music activities throughout the week.

The theme chosen for this year’s festival is Personal Discovery. The aim of the festival is to promote theatre activities and programs not only at AUS but throughout the country through training and activities with international and local performers and partner universities and companies, including Michigan State University; TorVentures; Texas Tech University; Double Edge Theatre; Clemson University; American University of Kuwait; Furman University; and Marina.

Speaking at the opening of the festival, Anthony Tassa, Professor of Theatre, Coordinator of the Performing Arts Program, and Festival Director, welcomed the 39 foreign participants and AUS students to the event and spoke about what audiences could look forward to during the week. He said:

“Theatre for many of us is something more than an activity, a hobby, or even a profession. It becomes almost a way of life, a way of seeing the world, those around us, and the events that shape our cultures. I sincerely hope this week’s events and activities will spur interest in the importance of theatre as an art form that both educates and entertains, teaching skills that are essential to both effective interpersonal relations and cultural development.”

The opening day’s program included a wide range of activities such as the play Cirkus, lectures

entitled “Producing An Alternative Immersive Theatre Experience” by Carlos Uriona; and “Food, Theatre and Culture” by Ann Folino-White; as well as acting workshops, playwriting slam sessions, and design storm sessions. Several prominent lectures will also take place during the week.

The festival program includes:

Theatrical Performances

Cirkus, presented by American University of Sharjah, February 4.

Public Domain: A Play With Footnotes, presented by Texas Tech University, February 5.

Phases, presented by Michigan State University, February 7.

Hello My Name Is… presented by Clemson University, February 8.


Producing An Alternative Immersive Theatre Experience, by Carlos Uriona, February 4.

Food, Theatre And Culture, by Ann Folio-White, February 4.

Roadblocks In Acting And How To Overcome Them, by Rob Roznowski, February 5.

Keynote Address: Why The Art Matters, by Chris Jones, February 5.

The Top Plays You Must Read Before You Die, by Daniel Keegan and Marija Reifft, February 5.

How Did Broadway Get From “Angels In America” To “Hamilton”? And What Happened At “Spider-Man” Along The Way?, by Chris Jones, February 6.

Open Workshops

Taking The Role, by Collin Vorbeck from Texas Tech University, on February 5.

Thinking Like A Director: Putting Concept Into Action, by Maegan Azar from Furman University, February 5.

The Process of Design, by Ted Rhyner, on February 5.

Cheap, Fast And Easy, by Mathew Leckenbusch from Clemson University, February 7.

To Speak Or Not To Speak, by Annie Northam from AUS, February 7.

Using Meisner Repetition In Acting And Directing, by Yasmine Jahanmir from American University of Kuwait, February 7.

Production Management Workshop, by Omnia Eldahshoury from AUS, February 7.

Actors In Training, by Carlos Uriana from Double Edge Theatre, February 7.

Design On A Dime, by Shannon Robert from Clemson University, February 7.

Marketing A Site Specific Season, by Cory Norman from texas Tech University, February 9.

Basics Of Bollywood, by Marina Grebeniuk, February 9.

Devising Techniques, by Sanja Tasic, February 9.

What A Production Manager Does, by Ted Rhyner, February 9.

Basics Of Arab Dabke, by Marina Grebeniuk, February 9.

Laban Effort Actions: A Movement Approach For Actors, by Mike Long from AUS, February 9.

Everybody Is A Stage Manager, by Cory Norman from AUS, February 9.

Composing Major Moments On Stage, by Ann Folio-White from Michigan State University, February 9.

Playwriting and Design

Design Storm Presentations, February 6.

Design Storm Responses, February 6.

Playwriting Slam Auditions, February 7.

Playwriting Responses, February 7.

Playwriting Presentations, February 7.

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