Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
VETERAN theatre director and actor Memory Kumbota believes more needs to be done in the scripting and promotion of theatre productions for people to come out to watch in their numbers.
The Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards winner of the Outstanding Theatre Director accolade said the only way in which this can be done is to tell stories which resonate with the public.
“Theatre right now faces a number of challenges like lack of audiences.
We need to bring in audiences to the theatre and take theatre to the people as well.
“We also need to tell stories that resonate with our public,” said Kumbota.
He said as thespians, it was imperative to know that they are competing with TV stations and the Internet for audiences.
“In this highly digital era, we’re competing with the Internet and television etc.
We’re performing for a more exposed audience in this global village so we must tell stories in a way that challenges the audience’s intelligence and gets them thinking deep about issues or seeing them in a way they never thought about.
“We can’t afford to take people for granted or else they’ll never leave the comfort of their homes with televisions, radios, DVDs and Internet to spend a night in an auditorium watching something that does not challenge nor excite them,” said Kumbota.
Reflecting on his RoilBAA win, he said winning the award was an honour to the artistes who worked under him as the director.
“It’s also an honour to the artistes that one works with especially in directing where the artistes trust your judgment and vision.
Directing, I always believe, is a big responsibility not only to one’s own vision and dream, but to the audience who pay their money and take their precious time to come to the theatre.”
Commending the awards, Kumbota said awards of such nature were necessary as they expose the different talented artistes to the audience.
“Awards are necessary, not only to the winners and nominees, but also as a celebration of the work that all artistes do in a particular sector.
They also create awareness among the public of the work that artistes do.”