Byo playwrights dominate Harare

HARARE - Theatre in the Park has taken a month’s break due to failure by Harare playwrights to come up with new plays.

Harare’s premier theatre venue, run by Rooftop Promotions, will resume operations next month.

Rooftop Promotions director Daves Guzha has taken a dig at Harare-based playwrights who are playing second fiddle to their Bulawayo counterparts.

“The people of Harare love talking a lot, like politicians. Before we opened last year, they said they had a lot of content, but when we opened, nothing came through. Bulawayo had so much content and they saved the year. About 70 percent of our content came from Bulawayo,” said Guzha.

He thanked the City of Kings for coming to Harare’s rescue.

“The plays also came in from the same directors, same cast. Bulawayo kept on developing new work. It seems as if when Theatre in the Park shut down (in 2012) theatre people in Harare stopped producing or they did for festivals, not ordinary theatre.

“Bulawayo did not have a venue shut down so they kept on producing,” Guzha said.

The plays from Bulawayo hosted by the venue included Naked Girls Reading, a play on women issues that are not usually talked about in public. The two-woman play was written and directed by Bulawayo-based Patience Phiri.

He added that the plays which will be hosted by Theatre in the Park this year will have to pass a rigorous quality test.

“The content is slowly coming through. Last year when we opened, we were focusing on quantity more than quality. This year we are focusing on quality.

“We were doing a play per week but this time it will be two plays in a month. We are using lessons learnt from last year,” said the Rooftop Promotions founder, who welcomed the recent opening of a new theatre venue in Highfield, Harare Edzai Isu Trust.

“I am also hoping that the opening of Theatre PaBridge will bring in new content,” he said.

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