Fungai Muderere, Showbiz Reporter
BULAWAYO arts ensemble, Langelitsha Arts is set to premiere their play titled Dreams at the inaugural Mitambo International Theatre Festival taking place in Harare.
The five-day fete which is being hosted by the Zimbabwe Theatre Academy at Reps Theatre and surrounding venues roared into life yesterday. The initiative showcases a broad range of different forms of theatre performances.
Directed by Nketa High School teacher Nkosana Mlibazi, Dreams which will be showcased today at Reps Adrain Stanley Square has an eight-member cast. The cast comprises Ntandoyenkosi Mpande, Ntandoyenkosi Mpofu, Michael Ncube, Mandisi Ndlovu, Anita Moyo, Nomaswazi Ndebele, Cindy Tshuma and Bungelani Ncube.
Langelitsha Arts director in charge of administration, Mpande said they were excited to be taking their production which outshone those of several arts outfits in a knockout competition at the Bulawayo Theatre earlier this year, outside the city.
“It’s our first time to take part in an event of such magnitude. It’s an honour for us and we want to thank Geraldine Roche,
Khaliphile Sibanda and Zimbabwe Development Democratic Trust (ZDDT) who all saw it fit to hand us this opportunity as part of our package of doing well in the theatre knockout competition,” said Mpande.
“We believe Mitambo International Festival will give us the much needed exposure. As we’re a cast that has people aged between 18 and 23, we’re going out there to learn and establish networks with other arts groups.”
At the festival where other countries that include Switzerland, Trinidad, Israel, Egypt, India, the United Kingdom, Nigeria and South Africa are also participating, there will be training sessions.
Festival organisers said the event themed ‘Emerge’ aims to make a meaningful contribution to the increased visibility of a locally networked, progressively viable theatre sector.
“Zimbabwe and regional theatre plays are characterised by various challenges, among them being the lack of platforms that draw plays and audiences together. This has caused most plays to face premature death after their premiere night,” said organisers.
The festival comes at a time theatre has been struggling to attract significant audiences locally and it is hoped that there will be an improvement after the festival.