Earlier this year, Kevin Spacey, together with the Kevin Spacey Foundation, and Emirati social entrepreneur Badr Jafar announced a joint initiative to launch The Middle East Theatre Academy, a programme designed to “bring theatre to the Middle East”, and introduce the youth in the Region to the art of theatre and stage performance.
This non-profit Academy is a first-of-its-kind in the Middle East, and will make use of existing theatre and staging facilities throughout the Region to offer a range of creative opportunities for emerging artists, including workshops, masterclasses and special events led by industry professionals in all aspects of theatre and stagecraft: performance, directing, writing, producing, stage management, lighting, set design, costumes, make-up and so on. The Academy will focus particularly on motivating children and teenagers who would benefit from rebuilding lost confidence or developing their self-assurance to reach their full potential in all facets of their lives.
Mr Spacey remarked, “My mentor Jack Lemmon had a phrase that he used all the time, which I’ve now adopted as my own. He believed that if you’ve been successful in your chosen path, then ‘sending the elevator back down’ is your obligation. That’s why I’ve set up The Kevin Spacey Foundation and I am thrilled to be able to be developing this Academy for the Middle East Region for this purpose.”
Speaking at the announcement, Mr. Jafar said: “Using existing venues and facilities wherever possible, The Middle East Theatre Academy with the Kevin Spacey Foundation and supported predominantly by the private-sector in our Region will strive to bridge any geographical barriers and offer our youth and budding artists an otherwise elusive opportunity to explore all aspects of theatre. In many cases the benefits will be two-fold: tapping undiscovered regional talent in the creative arts, while simultaneously promoting Middle East content on international stages, such as on Broadway in New York and the West End in London.”