THEATRE lovers could soon be smiling following revelations that Theatre in the Park is on its way back to the local arts calendar.
By Entertainment Reporter
The vibrant theatre programme took a sabbatical late last year due to a misunderstanding over the venue used to stage plays over the last 17 years.
Theatre in the Park plays were staged in a gazebo in the Harare Gardens that belongs to the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF). In November last year, ZIBF and Theatre in the Park organisers, Rooftop Promotions, got into a nasty feud over the venue that saw the theatre schedule being disrupted.
Rooftop Promotions claimed they had been short-changed by ZIBF, while the latter argued the former had breached the contract. Theatre in the Park has not staged a play this year.
Rooftop Promotions director Daves Guzha told NewsDay that Theatre in the Park would return soon since they had secured another venue in the Harare Gardens to resume their theatre programme.
“We have secured a new venue in the Harare Gardens which is bigger and better,” Guzha said.
“We have been allowed to use one of these big stages in the Harare Gardens and we are just finalising issues before we start renovations to make it a theatre venue.”
Guzha added that they would erect a permanent marque over the stage and set up other facilities in line with international standards. The all-weather venue, which is expected to accommodate about 500 people, would be moulded around the style of modern-world theatre arenas.
Although Guzha refused to disclose how much it would cost to set up the new venue, information obtained by NewsDay revealed the budget is slightly more than $100 000.
Indications are that the venue would be ready for the opening of the 2014 Theatre in the Park season early next year.
Theatre in the Park is notable for producing some of the country’s most exciting plays and talented theatre practitioners.
Notable renowned actors and actresses that have graced the famed stage include the late Walter Muparutsa, the late Sebastian Maramba, Zenzo Nyathi, O’brian Mudyiwenyama, Jasen Mpepho, Tafadzwa Muzondo, Gertrude Munhamo, Enisia Mashusha, Charity Dlodlo and Eunice Tava, among others.
Young generation theatre practitioners like Nothando Nobengula, Blessing Hungwe, Michael Kudakwashe, Caroline Mashingaidze, Evangelista Mwatse and John Pfumojena also found a springboard in Theatre in the Park.
Notable plays that have been seen include Super Patriots and Morons, Madman and Fools, Wedding Night, Alone but Together, Waiting for Constitution, Ten Years from Now, Roki and Maneta, Rituals as well as Indigenous, Indigenous, Indigenous.