Acting classes at Bulawayo Art Gallery

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The Bambatha Actors’ Centre yesterday began holding acting classes at the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo.

The centre’s director, Styx Mhlanga said on Tuesday the aim of the training programme is to empower those interested in theatre to acquire the necessary skills.

“We discovered there were a number of people who would like to be part of the acting industry, but there was no place where they could hone their skills,” said Mhlanga.

“A lot of people were coming to me enquiring as to where they could train in theatre. That is when I decided that we should have a programme to train people.”

He said eight people would start, but there would still be room for two more.

“We are looking at having 10 people. That is a manageable number. It is going to be a two-year programme,” said Mhlanga who last year received a nomination for the NewsDay People’s Choice Award for theatre.

He has been involved in training youths in acting in the high-density suburbs.

The programme covers theatre, television acting as well as radio plays.

He said it is imperative for script writers and directors to work with trained actors.

“People who are not trained, but just have the love of acting are difficult to work with as they have no depth. They cannot transform themselves to the character portrayed in the story,” he said.

Mhlanga said the training programme would also instill “a passion for culture” in the new recruits.

“It is important to be culturally inclined if are an actor. After the programme they would then be free to take part in any arts programme of their choice”.