Takudzwa Chihambakwe —
ALMASI Collaborative Arts last week resumed its free staged reading programme to promote dramatic literature and expose dramatic works to Zimbabweans while simultaneously training directors and actors alike.
The first staged reading for 2017 was titled “Venus” and was held at the Zimbabwe German Society.
“The staged reading of Venus went well. The play covered a lot of issues including slavery, objectification, commodification and racialised ideation of beauty,” said Almasi Collaborative Arts associate artistic director, Zaza Muchemwa, adding: “It is on these issues that the audience engaged each other in a robust conversation post the staged reading.”
Muchemwa went on, “Throughout the year we will be doing more staged readings. We will also facilitate training and professional development opportunities for dramatic artistes locally and abroad.
“Almasi through Almasi Arts Alliance, offers fellowships and grants which are designed to facilitate the cultural exchange between dramatic artistes in Zimbabwe and dramatic artists in the United States of America. These grants will provide substantial support for the artistes and the cultural exchanges allowing the artistes to develop both professionally and artistically.”
The fellowships and grants aim to give artistes opportunities to hone their craft and release their unique artistic voice into the larger global community skilfully.
One of the beneficiaries of the Almasi fellowships, Gideon Wabvuta, is participating in theatre festivals in the United States.
“Gideon Jeph Wabvuta, our Walter Muparutsa Fellow for 2016, who is reading for an MFA (Master of Fine Art) in Dramatic Writing at the University of Southern California has just recently participated in Theatre Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico 2017 where he performed his one-man show.
“He has also been selected as one of ten fellows from five continents to participate in the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, an 18th month virtual global residency programme at Georgetown University,” said Muchemwa.
“We are also encouraged that out of the Capacity Building of Dramatic Artist project we conducted 2015-2016, a physical theatre performance, ‘Tumaini’, was further developed into a production by Lloyd Nyikadzino in collaboration with other artistes namely Rumbidzai Karize, Everson Ndlovu, Nyarie Nhongonhema and Tanya Charingira.”
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