Staff Writer

Thefive-day Mitambo International Theatre Festival preparations gathers momentum and the festival will run under the theme ‘Emerge’ from October 8 to 12 2019 in Harare.

The festival will encompass symposiums, presentations, workshops, discussions as well as performances. Plays from local and international theatre will also be showcased at various venues including Reps Theatre, Jasen Mpepho Little Theatre and the University of Zimbabwe.

Michelle Dhube who is the event organizersaid that the theme captures the emergence of theatre and thespians in the country.

“The theme Emerge is basically representing the emergence of theatre and artists in Zimbabwe and the world at large. It also represents the coming to life of theatre,”

“International players, including Kasba Arghya from India, will display the Indian version of Macbeth, Divas Comedy Show and theatrical performances of the Bible are some of the plays expected at the festival,” she said.

It will feature an exciting line-up of local and international acts representing 14 countries.

“We are expecting to host 14 international countries, namely Belgium, Brazil, Botswana, Canada, Switzerland, India, Israel, Mozambique, Iran, Pakistan, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi and Italy.”

Dhube said local performers will be drawn from different parts of the country and will include Great Zimbabwe University and Lupane State University.

“We will be having about 29 theatre productions, excluding high schools, which will have to confirm as they still wait to hear from their ministry. These 29 productions are just the performances.

Workshops and paper presentations are about 10. The theatre festival is done to capture all ages from early years to the elderly,” she said.

According to information released by the organizers, MiTambo, a Shona word for plays,truly encapsulates what the festival is about; a platform through which local communities can access and celebrate the diversity of cultural identity and artistic expression.

Mitambo Festival aims to uncover and support what theatre can be and, what it can enable communities to do. It seeks to harness the unique energy and power of theatre as an immediate engagement tool for transformation of ordinary people. As a way of enhancing the visibility of theatre the festival will also have a cultural exchange component.

This potential cross-pollination of ideas, aesthetics, and professional artistic potential between local and international artistic initiatives will enhance the Zimbabwean theatre landscape towards performing arts taking on an active role in the socio-economic growth of our society.

Dhube said, “At MiTambo Festival, we believe in the sharing of stories which foster a culture of dialogue and the upholding of the right to free expression. As a priority the festival will ensure that everyone in our community is given access to fresh, thought provoking, and high standard theatre performances.”

Nyari Mashayamombe

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