Sunday Express

Play encourages Basotho to emulate King Moshoeshoe I

- Nthatuoa Koeshe

THESPIAN Liatile Mohale says her latest play, Bitla la Morena is meant to encourage Basotho to draw inspiratio­n from King Moshoeshoe I’s leadership and develop strategies to solve problems.

Bitla la Morena is an exploratio­n of King Moshoeshoe I’s exemplary leadership.

Mohale said she started writing the play last year and has also been performed in different schools including Cenez High School and the National University of Lesotho (NUL).

She said apart from educating people about the country’s history, the play also aims to teach learners about drama. After each performanc­e, there will be discussion­s to allow the audience get more informatio­n about theatre.

“We are performing this play in schools for students and one of our reasons is because the Ministry of education has mandated schools to teach drama and what better way to help students understand if it’s not from seeing it happen live,” Mohale said.

“The play is meant to reflect on the current socio-economic challenges and look to Moshoeshoe I’s leadership to draw inspiratio­n for strategies to solve problems.”

The play was scheduled to be performed in the American Corner of the State Library last weekend but was the postponed due to the Coronaviru­s scare.

In the play, which is set during King Moshoeshoe I, the protagonis­t, Letsie, is about to return from initiation school but must wait for the burial rituals of his grandfathe­r according to the Bamokoteli culture. Mohale is an experience­d theatre educator, director, actress and dramaturg, academic and cultural activist.

She is a Fulbright alumnus who holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Free State (2005). She also has a Masters’ Degree in Drama from San Francisco University (2016). During her two-year study residency in the US, she performed the role of Maxine in Ntozakhe Shange’s Spell#7, which was directed by Ashley Smiley.

She went on to become an assistant stage manager at the Little Theatre at San Francisco State University where she worked on the production of Stop Kiss.

It was at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield Massachuse­tts in the US summer of 2015 where she directed her first musical theatre project Passion and Reason, an experiment­al piece that fused realism, multimedia and docu-drama.

She was also at the time the directing assistant to Louisa Proske and Jenn Thompson. Her return to solo performanc­es after almost 15 years was at Stage Werx theatre in San Francisco in May 2016 where she performed her one-woman piece, I Eat What I Like. The College of Liberal Arts at SFSU presented her with the Graduate Student Award for Distinguis­hed Achievemen­t in May 2016.

In 2018, she founded Bahale Arts Developmen­t Centre (BADC), an organisati­on whose purpose is to develop high-level drama performanc­e skills to new and existing thespians. Within BADC, she also founded the Drama Resource Centre, an organisati­on that provides drama education experience to schools across the country.

 ??  ?? SCENES from Bitla la Morena.
SCENES from Bitla la Morena.
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