Tafadzwa Zimoyo Arts Reporter
Theatre in the Park will begin in March to introduce a new programme titled “State of the Nation” as it opens its new venue. The new auditorium in the Harare Gardens is a state-of-the art facility, but the founding concept is rooted in traditional Zimbabwean culture.
“State of the Nation” which is listed as one of the programmes to look forward to in new season is a regular show held on Fridays that will explore the week’s news and topical issues.
“It provides a space for dialogue between citizens and policymakers. It primarily seeks to engage with the citizens on various issues. The programme will be streamed through our tune in App Theatre in the Park Zim,” said Daves Guzha the director of Rooftop Promotions which runs Theatre In the Park.
“Saturday and Sundays we will have matinees that will focus on children’s theatre in order to develop both the audience base and the next generation’s artists.
“Educational programming will refer to the school literature syllabus for some productions, to enable students to connect with their reading and to develop the audience base.”
The new 600-seater Theatre In the Park will be of international standard and will be installed with wireless internet connectivity which will be used by theatre patrons and artists during performances.
“This will make it easy for patrons to send their comments and feedback about the play to the producers using social media as the plays will be streamed live.
“The venue is what the arts industry has been waiting for since it answer the challenges that the industry has been facing in terms of state-of-the-art venue and in terms of playing our role to re-generation of our city,” he said.
A kiosk stocked with Rooftop Promotions and various artists works dating back to more than two decades will also be common feature at the venue.
The venue will also play a critical role as a catalyst for unbridled growth of various theatrical products and musicals from within Zimbabwe, SADC , Africa, Asia and Europe.
Harare-based groups will have free rehearsal access top Theatre In the Park upon arrangements and artists will have proper change rooms with proper facilities.
Another important aspect is that the venue will have a resident artistic director who will help the upcoming and community based groups on how best they can approach the industry at a professional level.
“The new venue will also be a shop for content development as we embrace the coming in of 12 new television stations and believe that production that will be performed here will also find its way into the new stations,” said Guzha.