Zimbabwe’s arts industry is set for exciting major changes with the construction of a state-of-the-art world class theater facility at the Harare Gardens by Rooftop Promotions.
Speaking Tuesday at a ground-breaking ceremony for the 500-seater Theatre in The Park building, Rooftop Promotions board member, Ray Mawerera, said Zimbabwe’s art is in for great times.
Mawerera said the facility worth $200,000 will hold at least 30 shows a year and open up new opportunities for creative artistes in the country.
The new complex will have conference facilities and Wi-Fi facilities, enabling productions to be streamed live.
CHILD MINDING SERVICES
Mawerera said regional, continental and global premieres would be held at the new facility.
Harare-based theatre groups will also use the new space for their rehearsals, and for the first time in Zimbabwe’s arts history, offer child minder services to theatre loving parents.
Mawerera said the Theatre in the Park is being constructed in direct response to changing dynamics in the entertainment business the world over.
He said the potential for growth for the arts industry is high. He urged local artistes to utilize the venue by unpacking and articulating developments and challenges people face in languages they understand.
Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said the new theatre facilities are key to the city’s development, adding they fit into Harare’s vision of being a world class city by 2015.
SUPER PATRIOTS AND MORONS
Theatre in the Park, which has been in existence for 117 years, has produced and hosted more than 260 productions at national, regional and international level.
Some of the popular productions that were given space at the old Theatre in the Park, include Waiters, a play tackling the emotive and intricate race relations in Zimbabwe, and Super Patriots and Morons, one of the first plays to be banned in Zimbabwe.
The satirical play was about an unnamed country going down the drain economically with a dictatorial president. The authorities in Harare gave no explanation for the ban, but for the producer of the play, Daves Guzha, the reasons were political.
It also toured Africa and Europe, receiving critical acclaim almost everywhere it went.
SAMORA MACHEL FILM
Today’s event comes barely three days after the opening of the Zimbabwe International Film Festival with a film on former Mozambican President Samora Machel, “Camarada Presidente “ by Zimbabwean film maker, Mosco Kamwendo, being premiered.
The film is based on a real life controversy surrounding the death of Machel.
Mayor Manyenyeni described Camarada Presidente as a great film which should inspire the production of films on Zimbabwean heroes.
The Zimbabwe International Film Festival runs from the 4th to the 11th October under the theme ‘Universal African’.