Sharjah, which The National says wants to be known as the “cultural emirate,” is launching an Arabic theater festival that should come to fruition in April of next year.

This sounded exciting: I was eager to see the plays of Tawfiq al-Hakim and Yusuf Idris, as well as young playwrights like Mohammad El Attar, Leila Soliman and others, staged in Sharjah.

But there is a catch, according to Gulf News:

Other factors of the festival, announced at the press conference, include forming different committees that will review the plays each university will perform. “They can’t just perform any play”, [Sharjah Theaters Group Director Mohammad Hamdan] Bin Jarsh said. He explained that especially in Sharjah, cultural and ethical issues had to be taken into consideration.

Well, I wouldn’t want them to perform just any play. I’d want it to be a good one….