Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
THEATRE enthusiasts were recently treated to a rare artistic delicacy when Chiedza Makwara unleashed “Bongile We Are”, a musical theatre, at Reps Theatre in the capital. For three days, Reps Theatre was filled to the rafters, as theatre enthusiasts watched the play.
The production featured four music stars, Hope Masike, Gemma Griffiths, Tahle weDzinza, Bryn K and a plethora of exceptional dancers, who took the audience on an artistic journey through exhibition of their various talents.
It was one of many instances that points to a boom in local theatre, with a lot of activities being lined up, be it in the ghetto or up market.
Generally, theatre, dance and other performing arts teach people how to express themselves effectively.
Theatre also teaches society, pointing out the attitudes and mindsets of communities and can be a tool used to educate people about their current conditions.
The good thing is that the genre is managing to slowly retain its lost glory. A survey conducted by The Herald Arts revealed that, if the sector can be taken seriously and with its people being respected, it can not only boost the arts industry, but the whole tourism sector as well.
Theatre used to be one the most followed genres, where scores of people would gather, follow and fill spaces with various acts being performed.
Missing a single act would make its followers feel like having lost a fortune because of the dominance and quality of plays that were being produced those days.
Children Performing Arts Workshop (Chipawo) manager, Chipo Basopo, confirmed that theatre is returning to its glory considering the number of shows and performances coupled with tickets being sold out at venues.
She said there is so much that theatre can teach about history and culture.
“From the clothing that people wore during the time of the show, to the way they talked and acted. Shakespearean plays, for example, took in place in a historical and cultural period much different from our own.
“Through his plays, we learn about different mannerisms, cultural norms, and how people dressed and acted at the time of his plays,” she said.
Basopo said there were in the process of staging a series of plays this month, under the theme ‘A Time with Uncle Steve’, in honour of the late legendary playwright Stephen Chifunyise.
The first play, Vicious, written and directed for UNFPA by Chifunyise will be staged on from today.
The play touches on various issues affecting most Zimbabwean communities including poverty and HIV from a fresh perspective.
It features Chipo Basopo, Robert Chiyama, Kundai Chipagara, Tafadzwa Munjoma, Kidman Basopo, and Sabinah Rwatizha among others.
Asked how they are surviving in the arts industry where music, fashion and modelling are dominating, she said theatre has been in existence for years and they have their own audience.
“We are recording full houses at our events. Gone are the days when we had no opportunity to showcase our talents because we were not respected and appreciated.
“Allow me to thank the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation for fully supporting some of our initiatives,” she said.