Chipawo introduces acting school


THE Children’s Performing Arts Workshop (Chipawo) theatre company — Horizon Theatre — is set to introduce the Robert Mshengu Kavanagh School of Art at the end of this month in its bid to formally equip aspiring actors with requisite skills.


Chipawo manager Chipo Basopo told NewsDay Life & Style, the school, named after renowned theatre practitioner and educationist Robert Mshengu Kavanagh, will open its doors on October 30.

“At long last, there is an acting school in which a professional with over 50 years’ experience in theatre, both as an actor and a drama teacher in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, will be offering courses in acting,” she said.

Basopo said a few of Zimbabwean actors have had a formal training in acting, so there was need to establish an acting school.

“All over Zimbabwe, there are people, young and old, amateurs and professionals, acting in plays, films and on television. They act often very well because they are ‘naturals’. They have to rely on their instincts and what they can pick up from watching professionals. But very few have had any formal training in acting,” she said.

Basopo said the first course, called the foundation course, was aimed at preparing the student for a career or lifetime hobby in theatre by grounding them in the basic essentials that every thespian should master if they were to realise their full potential.

“This will be followed by the intermediate and advanced courses. The school will also provide courses in directing,” she said.

Kavanagh, who is also the founding editor of S’ketsh magazine, is a fourth generation African conversant in six African languages, a published author, cultural activist and academic in South Africa, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.