|24-Hour Theatre Challenge an exciting concept|
|Thursday, 10 May 2012 00:00|
Stephen Chifunyise Theatre Corridors
techniques. This is why theatre practitioners have to choose theatre performances they believe will be platforms for such a laboratory.
Advertised as the “most spontaneous and unpredictable theatre show”, 24-Hour Theatre Challenge was one of the 17 items on the Hifa 2012 theatre programme held at four venues — 7 Arts Theatre, Reps Theatre, Reps Theatre Upstairs and Standard Theatre that is housed within the Dutch Reformed Church premises.
At 8.15pm on May 3 five writers — Larry Kurirayi, Patrick Chasaya, Elizabeth Muchemwa, Priviledge Mutendera and Felix Mutasa — were given a theme (“Coming to Zimbabwe — the World of Wonders”) and told to submit their scripts the following morning at 7am.
At 8.15pm, the Hifa theatre audience that filled to capacity the Reps Theatre Upstairs to watch the penultimate part of the 24-Hour Theatre Challenge, included a large group of curious and highly anticipating theatre practitioners — writers, directors, actors and producers.
public performance of the 50 minutes of magnificent and thrilling theatre.
It featured some of the most prominent Zimbabwean film, television and stage stars — Chipo Bizure, Evangelista Mwatse, Zenso Nyathi, Marian Kunonga, Teddy Mangava, Caroline Mashingaidze, Delma Chiwerera, Lovejoy Mawoneka, Getrude Munhamo, Gideon Wabvuta, Nonthando Nobengula.
At the end of the show, a two-member adjudication panel asked the audience to indicate their choices according to the specific categories of best actor, best actress, best script, best director, best costume and best production.
The winners of best script — Felix Mutasa and the best director — Charles Matare — walked away happily and thankfully with laptops while the rest of the winners took home cash prizes. The following were the other winners: best actor — Zenso Nyathi and Gedion Wabvuta as runner- up; best actress — Tabeth Kandi and Vimbai Mutinhiri.
The award for best production went to a play directed by Silvanos Mudzvova and the best costume award went to a production directed by Larry Kwirirayi
With adequate sponsorship the project would at each of festival become a workshop in performance that capacity builds playwrights, directors, and actors while offering audiences active participation in evaluating the instantly created theatre products.
In Hifa 2012 the 24-Hour Theatre Challenge, there were new entrants to the theatre industry who made a big impact in their 10-minute exposure.
The playwrights were mostly recent entrants into the playwriting scene with Patrick Chasaya having emerged into the playwriting scene last year. The assignment to write for the 24-Hour Theatre Challenge is itself a test on how to handle commissioned work.
Whoever was lucky to witness the 2012 Hifa 24-Hour Theatre Challenge performances of five plays will agree that the show demonstrated clearly that there should be no reason for the shortage of new plays for theatre producers or theatre houses if such projects begin a regular feature of our arts and culture festivals.
Direct, which this year seemed to have struggled to secure plays of creative quality for the prime stage offered by Hifa.
adequately rehearsed and be ready to the advantage of the Hifa stage to exhibit its viability, versatility and a wide range of creative dimensions that will ensure that the Hifa theatre programmes remain a crowd puller and a highly satisfying cultural experience.
It was not just the number of actors, directors and writers that produced an evening of enthralling theatre that the 24-Hour Theatre Challenge was, it was the highly participatory audience that the concept produced that makes it a unique theatre experience.