To act or not to act? Maybe we’re being a little dramatic, but here’s owur pick of the best performing arts classes the capital has to offer
Whether you’re an aspiring actor or have a talented tot, the capital has a host of opportunities for everything from spotlight-seekers to rising stars.
From musical theatre to acting, public spea-king or advice from the professionals, get your jazz hands at the ready, here comes your curtain call.
For small starlets
Edutainment facility Hallabolou offers young actors an introduction to the stage elements through games, activities and imaginary play with the Stars on Stage classes. Kids will get to design their own costumes, sets and scripts and learn basic theatre technique before performing to an audience. AED 950 for ten-week course. A54 Marina Office Park Villa, next to Marina Mall. 4pm–5.15pm for ages four to seven, 5pm–6.15pm for eight and above. Contact: 02 622 2285, hallabolou.com
For actors serious about the stage, Dramascene could be the place to go. This UAE-wide centre is accredited by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), and offers classes in acting and public speaking for children aged eight to 16. The centre also offers LAMDA examinations for young stars looking to pursue their talent to qualification level. From AED 1,600 per term. The Bulb, Al Rayana. Sat and Mon, times vary. Contact: 055 310 0984, dramascene.com
Broadway Bootcamp’s skills-based performing arts programme offers specialist training to nurture budding performers. Run by a team of professionals from the showbiz world, classes focus on voice, acting and dance. There are even classes for the tiniest talents in the Broadway Babies classes for little ones aged two to three, which focuses on imaginative play and characterisation to develop their confidence. From AED 70. Times and locations vary. Contact: 055 857 5089, facebook.com/broadwaybootcamp.ae
Acting your age
If you’ve discovered your passion for the stage late in life, never fear – here are some options for the grown-ups.
Beyond the Veil
With a cast of Emirati and expat performers, this local theatre company prides itself on bringing innovative performances to the capital that resonate on a cultural scale. From one-act shows to larger performances, the company performs, designs, directs and often writes all its own material, catering for the full range of theatrical experience. If you’d like to take part, keep a look out for the group’s regular call-outs for auditions. Free. Times and locations vary. Visit: beyondtheveilad.com
Abu Dhabi Choral Group
This tuneful group is a capital institution, and was set up in 1977 by some musically inclined expats. But don’t be fooled – Abu Dhabi Choral Group is more than just a choir, with two Broadway-style performances each year. From Legally Blonde to The Wedding Singer and The Addams Family, the group reinvents itself on stage for a performance that’s full of character. Membership is open to all, and the group meets twice a week to rehearse. AED 100 to join. NYUAD, Saadiyat Island. Mon 7pm–9.30pm and Sat 10am–4pm. Contact: abudhabichoralgroup.com
Abu Dhabi Drama Group
This Meetup group is for thespians and writers alike, with regular get-togethers in the capital. Join the group and you’ll be able to get involved in script reading sessions, learn some acting techniques and collaborate with other creative minds. Keep an eye out for the group’s free acting workshops led by Hollywood professional Leo Wong. Free. Times and locations vary. Contact: meetup.com/abu-dhabi-drama-group
Miranda Davidson Studios
If you’re serious about your art or need some professional advice, Miranda Davidson Studios offers a variety of classes to suit all acting needs. From learning the art from scratch to on-camera presenting and scene study, the company offers intensive courses to develop your hobby into a possible career. From AED 1,600. twofour54, Starbucks building, near Khalifa Park. Times vary. Contact:056 920 8938, mirandadavidsonstudios.com