THEATRE producer Sithabile Malambane (pictured) yesterday said she was happy that their play capturing the Gukurahundi era — 1983 The Dark Years — will be staged for the first time in Harare after the lifting of its ban imposed by the government in 2012.
BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
The play, was banned as the authorities sought to keep under wraps the truth around the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and Midlands in the early to mid-1980s.
Following the lifting of the ban, the play will be shown at Theatre in the Park in Harare every evening from May 30 to June 2.
Malambane expressed hope that the play — written by Bhekumusa Moyo and directed by Adrian Musa — will also contribute to efforts to bring national reconciliation and healing.
“We are really excited to be touring again after the play was banned in 2012 and we hope to partner with the National Healing and Reconciliation Commission to trigger conversations that will lead to the healing of everyone affected by what transpired decades ago,” she said.
Malambane said the new political dispensation has energised them as there was now greater recognition of freedom of expression and bold theatre works could now be produced without fear.
“Theatre is a medium of communication which we feel should be allowed to address issues as they are. Now with the new dispensation which we feel recognises freedom of speech,” she said.
Malambane also said plans were in the pipeline to embark on a national tour and turn the theatre piece into a film.
“After Harare we hope to tour Zimbabwe and present it to promote true healing, true peace and reconciliation,” she said.
“One day we would love to develop it into a film if resources are available,” she said, adding that tickets pegged at $3 were available at Theatre in the Park offices.
The play comes hard on the heels of Operation Restore Regasi capturing the deposing of former President Robert Mugabe, as the new regime appears to open up to politically-sensitive artistic works.
Rooftop Promotions said the new dispensation has given artistes significant leeway for freedom of expression and the staging of the play would see the audience engaging in open dialogue.