Spacey launches Middle East theatre academy

Updated: Feb 08, 2011, 19:18 PM IST

Dubai: Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey is launching a theatre academy in the Middle East to introduce the youth in the region to the art of stage performance.

The Middle East Theatre Academy, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the region, is being launched by the Kevin Spacey Foundation in partnership with Badr Jafar, Executive Director of Crescent Petroleum and CEO of Crescent Investments.

The programme will make use of existing theatre and staging facilities throughout the region to offer a range of creative opportunities for emerging artists, including workshops, master classes 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 underprivileged children and teenagers and building their confidence to reach full potential in all facets of their lives.

Spacey is much-admired for his success as a stage and screen actor and producer, and as the Artistic Director of one of London`s oldest theatres, the Old Vic Theatre.

The Kevin Spacey Foundation was launched in November 2010 to help advance and promote the creative arts for public benefit through the training and education of writers, actors, producers and directors.

The `American Beauty` star views his foundation as a means of "giving back" to the community, supporting those with the passion and potential to succeed in the competitive worlds of film and theatre.

"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 develop this academy for the Middle East Region for this purpose," Spacey said. Jafar said that the academy will strive to bridge geographical barriers and offer youth and budding artists an otherwise elusive opportunity to explore all aspects of theatre.