The inaugural edition of the Stephen J Chifunyise International Theatre Festival slated to run from March 26-28 will go on despite gatherings of more than 100 people having been banned by the Zimbabwean Government.
As the world is shaken by the statistics of deadly Covid-19 and with Theatres and other businesses closing, for the orgainsers of the Stephen J Chifunyise International Theatre Fesival the show must go on.
So how will this actually work?
“In these trying times, it’s incumbent upon the creative and cultural industries to provide relief to an otherwise potentially depressed human race. Without theatre, film, music, dance and many other art forms, humanity would find itself in an abyss. COVID-19, demands us creatives to be dynamic and outward thinking in ensuring we do our bit,” said brains behind the festival, Daves Guzha in a statement.
“To that end, the much-expected Stephen J Chifunyise festival will be shared on varied digital platforms,” Ghuza revealed.
A new and overdue nexus between creativity and tech begins for this iconic venue Theatre in the Park.
“Whilst the content itself will be accessed freely or be on “open source”, the festival is appealing for contributions from well-wishers, friends of Theatre in the Park, Harare to allow us to maintain the platforms and ensure fair remuneration of our creatives.
“The festival has participants from various countries like South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe,” added Guzha.
Productions will vary from; children’s programmes encompassing dance, theatre, music, and storytelling. There will also be films in the form of Waiters, Solo na Mutsai Face to Face.
“Another element is that of academic presentations which will be presented by Professor Dickson Mwanza, Professor Mufunanji Magalasi and Dr Samuel Ravengai, Dr Kelvin Chikonzo as well as a writers programme to be conducted by Savanna Trust.”
This interesting take on giving people access to content via social media during such a time as this will go a long way in redefining how theatre content is distributed in Zimbabwe and the content as a whole.
If successful, this success will not be just for Guzha and team, but other theatre creators, producers, festival orgainsiers, enthusiasts and other stakeholders.