Thrive Master Class - Season 1 EP3 with Courtyard Playhouse

#ThriveINTribeca presents

A Thrive Master Class with Kemsley Dickinson, owner and artistic director of the Courtyard Playhouse and Salman Z Qureshi, improviser and stand-up comedian at the Playhouse.

The Courtyard Playhouse is Dubai's first and only dedicated, purpose designed improv' theatre dedicated to nurturing local talent and developing the improv' scene.

We have a 70 seater auditorium, centrally located near the Mall of the Emirates and easily accessible from Sheikh Zayed Road.

Nestled in the creative heart of Dubai, among galleries and cafes, The Playhouse specialises in Johnstonian inspired improvisation, stand-up comedy and acting but we also provide corporate training and events for medium to large companies.

We have a full schedule of workshops for adults, teens and children as well as a schools programme, and are proud to broadcast National Theatre Live, Royal Shakespeare Company Live, Kenneth Branagh Theatre Live and other internationally acclaimed productions on a monthly basis.

The Playhouse is a passion project that we decided to tackle in early 2013. We found the Courtyard while looking for warehouse spaces and fell in love with the place. It started out as a partitioned office which we renovated over a period of a year and turned it into a beautiful little theatre. It is a 58 seat auditorium but we also have beanbags for those packed improv' or comedy nights.

We’ve been doing plays and holding acting workshops in Dubai for 7 years now and finally we decided we were tired of renting other peoples space, we wanted to have a ‘home’ for Drama Dubai. We were also tired of complaining about the ‘soulless’ feeling at some theatres and art spaces in Dubai and decided to create something which contrasts sharply with the stereotypical Dubai image of the best, biggest, most famous, etc… so the Playhouse is small, intimate, cosy, quirky, genuinely community-based and made with a lot of love and passion. 

Another motivating factor was to create a space for locally based talent to develop and thrive. A space where artists, writers, directors and community groups could afford to hire and not have to compromise artistically because of the overriding need to sell tickets.

Kemsley discovered his 'calling' when he started teaching improv' as a stand-alone art form early in 2013 and we decided to establish an improv' scene here in Dubai with the Playhouse at it's heart. So far, the place is thriving and growing from strength to strength thanks to the amazing community and talented individuals who have helped us along the way.

We've funded the project with our own savings and with the help of family loans, community crowd-funding and two wonderful partners, Richard and Louisa Coates.

Initial renovations took a year and a half to complete, but it is always a work in progress as we continually improve facilities, add decor and elements to make it a warm, comfortable place with top quality professional theatre tech gear and equipment.

We now have a full compliment of workshops for all ages and events almost every night from stand-up comedy and improv' to community theatre productions and National Theatre screenings.


Thrive Master Class - Season 1 - Ep1 Hollaphonic

#ThriveINTribeca presents

Thrive Master Classes with Hollaphonic

Get to learn more about production with Multi-award winning Universal Music's Olly Wood - Hollaphonic & Greg Stainer - Hollaphonic of Hollaphonic

*Music Creation *Production *Songwriting
*engineering *Sound *Plus more...

About Hollaphonic
Multi-award winning Hollaphonic, are the first ever electronic music act to be signed to a major label in the Middle East.


This energy packed English electronic music duo consists of Greg Stainer & Olly Wood, joining forces in 2013, they've since enjoyed a rapid rise to fame; their first 4 releases on Universal Music Group went to No.1 in various Middle East iTunes charts, and the hype continued... their first album 'Personal Space' came out in March 2015, went straight to iTunes No.1 whilst on pre-order and it’s the album that keeps on giving. A total of 5 singles from the album reached top twenty across 8 countries, seeing heads turn across the planet as Hollaphonic lead a Dubai dance music explosion. Their international hit track Dangerous ft. Vince Kidd has seen support from UK radio giants BBCR1, Kiss FM and Capital FM, even landing the coveted spot as Sarah-Jane Crawford's Smash of The Week on BBC Radio 1Xtra. All of this attention led Dangerous to be No.3 on the global Shazam trending chart. This worldwide support also extended to their massive remixes of Sigma’s ‘Glitterball’ ft. Ella Henderson & Philip George’s worldwide No.1 ‘Wish you were mine’. In 2015 they saw Amsterdam Dance Event decide that their bassline banger ‘Surrounded By Bass’ warranted a No.11 position on the much sought after ade BUZZCHART with DMC Magazine backing them for a huge 2016.

Whilst pioneering a fresh sound from their studios in the UAE, they thrive on live shows, having taken their unique blend of live production, vocals and remixing on the road to over a 1/4 million fans in 2014/15. Performing alongside the likes of Seal, David Guetta, Coldplay, Calvin Harris, Disclosure, Fat Boy Slim and much more; with plans to start their own imprint and a box full of unreleased tracks, life couldn't be more exciting for Hollaphonic right now, onwards & upwards they go as a figurehead of forward thinking electronic music in the Middle East and beyond. 

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