Stakeholders commemorate theatre day

BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO

CHIPAWO recently held a two-day workshop in Harare which was graced by theatre industry experts to commemorate the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People (WTD) and World Puppetry, respectively.

Chipawo, a member of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ), joined more than 80 countries worldwide to commemorate WTD themed Take a Child to the Theatre.

In her 2019 message ASSITEJ president Yvette Hardie, said theatre gives children hope of a brighter future while encouraging parents to expose their kids to theatre.

“ASSITEJ believes that theatre provides multiple doorways into feeling a greater sense of connectedness with others and — importantly — with ourselves. Recently The New Victory Theatre in New York released the results of a five-year study into the benefits of theatre for children and young people. One of the key unexpected findings was that exposure to the theatre gave these children greater hope for the future. Every child needs to have hope,” she said.

Renowned theatre practitioner and educationist Robert Mshengu Kavanagh told delegates at the workshop in Harare that the future of the theatre industry lay in young people’s hands.

“People often say that children are the future. You are our hope for the future. When it comes to the arts, you are the future. What I am saying to you today is that it is you who will be able to make theatre in Zimbabwe. Make and perform plays that people will enjoy and make them want to come back; plays about your lives and their lives. Encourage your mums and dads, your aunties and uncles, your grannies and grandpas and your friends to come and see them,” he said.

Chipawo manager Chipo Basopo said having children engage in theatre was a good way of enabling them to communicate with each other and exchange views and experiences.

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