“Community” is the most common word used by Yasser Bakr when describing Fennec. When Yasser founded Fennec, he wanted to build a performance arts community that is accessible to everyone, and he did so masterfully.
Fennec has the concept of ‘community’ at the forefront of all its endeavors. The role of community in the arts can not be overemphasized by Yasser. According to Yasser, “finding a space, community and platform that respects your art and gives you a voice is key,” and Fennec accomplishes this by looking at its three pillars: Theater, Community, and Company.
The theater is more than just a stage, it’s a platform, an opportunity for the performer to find and show their voice. Yasser made a clear effort in making the theater space something that is accessible to anyone interested in the world of performing arts. When asked what a prospective artist needs to grow in their field, Yasser said, “You have to find a space that respects your art and gives you your voice.”
Through auditions, amateur and professional performances, and workshops, performers are given a platform to hone their crafts. Performers are given a prime location in Jeddah’s Hayy Jameel and strong promotion so that the performer can reach the widest audience possible under the best conditions and proper guidance.
Fennec was named after the fennec fox. Just like the community of performance artists of Fennec, the fennec fox is a social creature that lives and operates in communities. The fennec is not endangered, but still must be taken care of for them to survive in the future, which applies very well to performance artists. Finally, as Yasser puts it, “the fennec is still a fox, sly, cunning and resourceful.” This is to say, Fennec is an Arab based, social, nurturing and resourceful community. There’s that word again. “Community.” It keeps coming back, and for good reason. Yasser’s emphasis on community seems ubiquitous. All levels of performers are nurtured to grow as creators and people.
Fennec has an objective to be a sustainable business. Fennec used its member’s individual experiences to create a collectively sustainable business and logistical model that can survive in the long run. Their pricing model is inexpensive, with many of their shows being free to attend. Fennec instead looks to streamline the content creation, writing, producing, directing and performing processes, creating a constant and consistent stream of performances on professional and amateur levels.
Check out their website for upcoming events and activities.