Government Urged To Support Theatre

Players in the theatre industry have called on government to support the development of the genre in rural communities and schools as a way of promoting expertise and a sense of direction among young artists from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The call was made by Zane Lucas, board member of the International Theatre Institute (Zimbabwe centre) who called on government to come up with initiatives that ensure untapped talent in remote areas is exposed to opportunities for development.

“The biggest challenge is that the government is not fully supporting (financially) the theatre industry. We have a lot of potential in rural communities, which can be tapped and can be future global stars,” said Lucas.

“During one of the auditions (for the Zimbabwe Theatre Academy) we saw lot of potential in artists who came from rural areas but they lack financial support hence they talent goes unnoticed. If you go to areas like Hwange, you will realise a lot of children there have great talent, all they need is a bit of support ,” said Lucas.

He added that the newly adopted curriculum had done enough to recognize theatre but without funding, the idea will go to waste.

The Zimbabwe Centre of the International Theatre Institute in partnership with Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Reps Theatre, Pamberi Trust and Africalia are in the process of initiating a Zimbabwe Theatre Academy (ZTA) which is expected to be professional launch pad for new theatre creators and players in Zimbabwe.

The aim of the academy, through its one year professional actor training project is to provide a sustained platform for under privileged and untrained youths, to acquire practical and valuable theatre knowledge and techniques, and contribute to the professionalization and long-term development of theatre practice in Zimbabwe.

Ten students have already been selected through a series of auditions.

This training program will enable talented young artists to take charge of their own lives so as to enhance meaningfully participation in community developmental issues through theatre.

Lloyd Nyikadzino, director of the Zimbabwe Theatre Academy called for formal training of theatre artists in Zimbabwe.

“Through this initiative, we aim to provide a training platform for theatre artists who can have an opportunity to further their training in the US where they can get formal training.

“By being exposed to such trainings, their skills will be enhanced thus creating global professionals in the creative industries and to be able to create their own income generating projects after the training,” he said.