Theatre returns to Harare

PATIENCE MUSA

 Zimbabwe’s largest outdoor community theatre, the Theatre in the Park, which had been closed as part of efforts to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, reopened this week.

The Rooftop Promotions administered performance hub, kicked off yesterday and runs until tomorrow with a theatrical production Mwana wa.

The show is allowing very limited live audiences to abide by the COVID-19 regulations while also live streaming on the institutional online platforms.

Mwana wa, highlights the issues in an artisanal mining community while also exposing the inferior social position women occupy.

It features Nomalanga, who represents a business-oriented woman running a bottle store and bold enough to be refusing to be taken advantage of by cunning men.

The piece reinforces the belief that people have power to exploit their resources and it also demonstrates the influence political heavyweights have in these mining activities.

In fact, the play also calls for the general public to take responsibility and make sure that resources are well managed.

Mwana Wa, dignifies the tradition of inheritance of the natural resources (minerals) from the ancestors.

The production features popular faces like Ratidzo Eunice Tava, Stewart Sakarombe, Tafadzwa Hananda, Taurai Kawara and others.

Ratidzo Eunice Tava, one of the major characters in the play, has been enjoying major successes for years more so with the release of The Nehanda story in which she plays Mbuya Nehanda.

Of her experience playing the spirit medium, Tava said:  “I had to cut my long hair and every time before I went on set I would have my body changed the colour of my skin to make it very dark”.

Tava has been in over twenty theatre productions with different theatre production houses; her first play was with RoofTop Promotions Ganyau Express written by Noel Marerwa featuring Obrian Mudyiwenyama and Silvanos Mudzvova.

Rooftop Promotions programmes manager Passmore Ndlovu says the institution has more productions coming up.

Since its establishment more than a decade ago, Theatre in the Park has had numerous plays scrutinising different issues while also providing a platform for dialogue to the general public in Harare and other areas.

With the high penetration of the internet, the theatre expanded, earning a wider reach through live streaming on social media platforms like Facebook and You Tube.

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