Festival to honour Doug Hill on cards

MASVINGO Theatre and Arts Club is set to celebrate the legacy of Charles Austin Theatre founding father, Doug Hill, through the inaugural Doug Hill High Schools Drama
Festival slated for August 1 and 2.

BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO

Charles Austin Theatre is Zimbabwe’s third largest theatre which was founded in 1974 by Doug Hill together with Jimmy Millar and Tony Weare.

Club chairperson Charles Munganasa confirmed the event which he also said would be used as a platform to nurture artistic talent.

“The festival seeks to cement Doug Hill’s theatre legacy at the same time offering platforms for young people to develop their skills. There is no better way to say thank you to a man who has made theatre a part of his life putting tireless effort and resources in grooming and nurturing young talents,” he said.

Munganasa said the theatre has been able to bankroll its own programmes since 1974 and that was worth celebrating.

“The creative arts industry is one of the less funded industries in Zimbabwe. Most organisations depend on donor funding. However, the case is different with the Charles Austin Theatre which has managed to self-sustain since 1974. Such persistence needs to be celebrated,” he said.

Schools including Eveline High School, Gifford, Victoria, Zimuto, Berejena, Rufaro, Mucheke, Dewure, Shingirirai, Madzivanyika, Pamushana, Masvingo Christian College and Hippo Valley High School are expected to perform at the event.

Munganasa promised an entertainment galore as well as educational workshops during the festival.

“A lot will also be showcased with music, film and dance taking the centre stage and 11 awards are set to be won. Tickets will be going for $2 for each day and pupils in uniform will enter free of charge,” he said.

The awards include Best Production, Best Achievement, Best Stage Craft, Best Technical Play, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Cameo.

Charles Austin Theatre boasts having groomed artistes including Ba Shupi, Ras Caleb and the Vharazipi crew.

Last year its first film Seiko won a National Arts and Merit Award award for being the best short film. Munganasa also directed Great Zimbabwe University’s film Solo naMutsai.

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