Inmate thesps for Hurungwe Festival
IT IS going to be a theatre buffet at this year’s edition of the Hurungwe Arts Festival, which takes place on July 7 and 8 in Karoi.
The programme contains performances from established production houses, schools, as well as inmates from prisons Mashonaland West. As we reported in this column on January 29, the inclusion of inmates is part of an initiative dubbed “Chance to Change”.
The inmates project was created to address the educational rehabilitative needs of both male and female inmates – a plan for skills acquisition designed for inmates to successfully re-enter society.
The Sunday Mail Society spoke to festival director, Joel Zilala.
“We will have six prisons performing at the festival this year. These will be correctional facilities from Kadoma, Chinhoyi, Karoi, Hurungwe, Banket and Kariba. They will be competing in a play entitled ‘Chikoro Chevasikana’, written by Patrick Mahlasera.
“Winners will be announced and, certificates and prizes will be given at the festival. This competition is part of the initiative called ‘Chance to Change’, which provides the offender an opportunity to enhance his/her work skills through acting. In addition, the theatre production makes the offender accountable for his/her behaviour and provides an avenue to make amends for the harm they have caused.”
Pupils from various schools within the province will be competing in their own theatre competition and winners will also be awarded prizes.
“We decided to run a schools drama competition during the festival, which will encourage school children to make their unique contribution to traffic safety and environment management.
“Primary schools are encouraged to select traffic safety while secondary schools take on environmental management. We are asking primary and secondary schools in Hurungwe write their own short play for the stage. This is an opportunity for all budding playwrights to show off their imagination and creativity,” continued Zilala.
In the professional category, Berina Arts in Collaboration with Budiriro Cultural Arts will perform the play, “Samson naDherira”. Bambelela Arts from Bulawayo will also be in action with “The Wish List”, while hosts, Hurungwe Arts Production, will stage, “Caged”. Outside theatre, there other activities at the festival.
“The festival encompasses diverse arts genres such as music, dance, poetry, film and visual arts. The aim of these arts activities is to promote social change using expressive arts,” revealed Zilala.
He pointed out that workshops and exhibitions would be held.
“The capacity building events offer perspectives and insights on issues affecting artistes. The aim is to encourage them to know and take charge of their circumstances. These events are open to all artistes attending the festival,” explained Zilala.