Theatre in the Park finds new home

HARARE - Theatre in the Park, which was evicted last year from the venue they had used for 17 years by the Zimbabwe International Book Fair over rental arrears, is constructing a 500-seater theatre.

The new venue, just like the old one, is in the Harare Gardens.

Rooftop Promotions director Daves Guzha told the Daily News his organisation is happy with its new venue.

“This is an agreement with the Harare City council and there is no third party which was the case with the ZIBF,” said Guzha.

He added that the altercation they had with ZIBF has now proved to be a blessing in disguise.

“Kuyambutsa datya rwizi, kurikava (Sometimes attempts to make other people suffer unwittingly open new doors for these people).This rich Shona idiom aptly sums up the feeling within the Rooftop Promotions Board and Secretariat.”

“When 17-year-old relations between Theatre in the Park thawed with ZIBF in 2012, team Rooftop immediately saw an opportunity to do something truly magical and wonderful for the theatre sector,” he said. Guzha said Theatre in the Park and ZIBF had serious contractual differences which resulted in the former being chucked out of the venue that had become synonymous with theatre.

“The break gave us the chance to think about what kind of venue theatre patrons, artistes want to be associated with. Consultative meetings were held and ideas were put in motion and memory recall was self-induced with a view to ensure certain elements were incorporated from the various world stages we had performed in.

“And principally, as the theatre form we do is heavily influenced by the village setups we grew up in where dare/enkundleni (traditional courts) are theatres of realism, this influenced us a lot in terms of the space alignment and usage.

“To cap it all, with the realisation that a lot of our varied rituals do take place in our round huts, just like the previous space, we have retained and enhanced the outlook and the way we serve our product to the consumer,” said Guzha.

Comments (1)

It feels good and refreshing to have your own facilities. Its good for the theatre industry. We now look forward to many many more charming works from the rooftop stable to warm up the new facility. Good vision.

CLAUDIOUS MASHIRI - 4 April 2014

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