Out of its concern for the development of the theatrical movement, the Qatari government set up a special body, The Culture and Arts Directorate, which in turn set up a drama department entrusted with monitoring and documenting theatrical performances presented by local or visiting foreign groups. It is also concerned with regulating and organizing Qatari groups’ participation in regional and international drama festivals.
Since 1972 the government of Qatar has been subsidizing local troupes by paying rent for their premises to improve the quality of their performances and avoid commercialism. Despite its modest beginnings, the theatrical movement in the state of Qatar has managed to firmly establish a presence in the Gulf and Arab arenas. No longer confined to the national scene, dramatic production in Qatar has attracted regional attention and won critical appreciation in various cultural and theatrical circles.
The year 1972 witnessed the birth of the first theatrical troupe in Qatar, namely, “The Qatar Theatrical Troupe” which continued its dramatic performances until 1994. Later, three troupes were formed: “Al sadd Theatrical Troupe”, “Al Adhwaa Troupe” and “Popular Theatre Troupe”. Between them, these four troupes presented 123 dramatic performances for children and adults. It was then deemed to be expedient to merge the four troupes into two, the idea behind this being to boost membership of the two troupes and concentrate resources to offer better theatrical works.
Private Theatrical Troupes
In 1986 the first private theatrical troupes began to appear. They managed to present very successful works of drama. The casts working for these establishments are drawn from local troupes or brought in from other Arab countries.
- Theaters in Qatar
- There are 3 well-equipped drama theaters which host professional performances in Qatar.
- Qatar National Theater
Inaugurated in 1986, Qatar National Theater is among the best in the Arab World. It can accommodate an audience of 500; its stage is equipped to host ballet and folklore shows and drama performances.
- The Education Ministry Theater
Sometimes open to the other theatrical groups, Education Ministry Theatre is generally reserved for works undertaken by the Drama Inspectorate at the ministry. It has 300 seats.
- Doha Players
Owned by English community in Doha and equipped with 300 seats, this theatre is sometimes used by other theatrical groups.