here are no re- takes. Once the curtains open, you can’t pause to reperform a scene or to re- think a dialogue. The theatre is a beautiful form of art. There aren’t any mics here ( mostly) — your voice is all you’ve got. No fancy sets, a handful of props. Your body is the ‘ real’ furniture. The energy on stage is driven by the applause of the audience and the spirit of fellow actors. The words of mentors calm nervous hearts and minds. And you don’t have to wait for box office returns to know if you fared well or not — the verdict is passed then and there. The UAE is home to many theatre lovers, who love to perform as well as watch. And recently, many independent theatre groups have come up in the city, each committed to the cause of evolving this art form. What’s more, they’re keen to stage shows in several languages — think English, Italian, Greek, Hindi and more. Here, the founders of four such groups give us a peek of the action, behind the scenes.