Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

Dubai's The Courtyard Playhouse has reopened its doors with improv courses

The local performing arts training centre is now offering select programmes in-house

The Courtyard Playhouse will open its doors after being closed for about three months. Courtesy The Courtyard Playhouse
The Courtyard Playhouse will open its doors after being closed for about three months. Courtesy The Courtyard Playhouse

A couple of months ago, the family behind Dubai's performing arts centre and improvisation theatre, The Courtyard Playhouse, was afraid their business wouldn't survive the pandemic.

Like many training institutions, it ceased operations in early March and they were concerned the temporary shutdown could translate to a permanent one.

“We live based on the bookings we have every month,” owner and founder Kemsley Dickinson told The National at the time. “There are no bookings now, for the foreseeable future.”

The family were forced to get creative, selling merchandise online and offering virtual improv classes in the meantime to make ends meet.

But now it seems things are looking up, as the team announced on Sunday that the theatre is reopening, offering select in-house programmes for anyone over the age of 12 and under 60.

The reopening is in alignment with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority's stipulations. This includes limited classes sizes (a maximum of eight will be allowed), plus the stringent health and safety measures.

All participants and instructors must be two metres apart at all times, everyone must have their temperature checked on arrival, and wear masks and gloves.

Sanitisation stations have been put in place and the Al Quoz premises were fully disinfected before reopening.

On top of that, no more than 80 people can be on site at any one time.

The team's first official day back at work was Sunday, June 7, with in-house courses set to commence from Sunday, July 5.

This includes a junior improv summer camp for 12 to 16 year olds, plus an introduction to improvisation course for adults.

For a full list of available programmes, click here. All online courses and activities will also continue.

A statement about evening programmes will reportedly be made later this month.

Updated: June 8, 2020 03:57 PM

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