By Vongai Mbara
Yesterday, Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Theatre Day through various activities.
In a statement, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe’s acting director Nicholas Moyo said theatre should be respected because it is valuable in educating the community.
“Theatre remains a developmental tool, an effective communication method and above all an important aspect of the learning process. It can be used to depict identity as well as a weapon for cultural expressions.
“By joining the rest of the world in celebrating World Theatre Day, Zimbabwe affirms her respect to international days as proclaimed by the relevant arms of the United Nations,” said Moyo.
Several organisations including the University of Zimbabwe, Savanna Trust and Rooftop promotions engaged in different activities in celebration of the day.
The University of Zimbabwe kick started their Theatre Arts Week on Monday. Running under the theme “Bringing Together the Nation and Region Through Theatre”, students are participating in activities such as music, poetry and dance.
In celebration of the day, Savanna Trust is also holding a community theatre workshop in Gwanda today. Founder and director of Savanna Trust, Daniel Maposa has encouraged the whole of Zimbabwe to take theatre seriously and support it altogether.
“Local councils, the government and community should be interested in supporting theatre because it is not only art but is a developmental tool. It should be supported so that there is vibrancy in the country and the government must make sure that there is a conducive environment for theatre,” said Maposa.
He added that the industry lacks training and it is affecting their craft.
“We have very little vocational training for the arts and as a result we are producing substandard products. It is sad because we have so much talent in the country but talent alone is not enough.
“Organisations like Harare Polytechnic should cater for vocational and practical art training rather than theory alone,” said Maposa.
In Bulawayo the celebrations started last Thursday at the Bulawayo Theatre with the opening of Raisedon Baya — penned and directed play “Fragile”.
Baya said the biggest challenge being faced by the industry is lack of resources.
“Theatre is not supported with resources. This is limiting our potential because we need resources to produce content.
“The government should appreciate and assist in the development of infrastructure for the arts industry. In a country with so much talent, we should have a lot of theatres countrywide,” he said.
He also said his plan is to educate young people about theatre so that they grow to appreciate it more.