Zimbabwe Theatre Academy Empowers Artists for Social Change

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready…

Writes Shingirai Manyengavana

Harare, Zimbabwe – The Zimbabwe Theatre Academy, in collaboration with DOS Exchange Alumni Lonesome Kudzai and Jonathan Walters of Hand2Mouth Theatre, recently organized a practical skills workshop aimed at equipping theatre practitioners with the tools for impactful storytelling, community engagement, project development, and social entrepreneurship.

Jonathan Walters, the international programs director of Hand2Mouth Theatre, explained the workshop’s objective, stating, “The idea of the workshop was to empower these theatre makers to create their own stories, stories that they could truly own. It’s about embracing the moment and amplifying their voices without relying on classic scripts. It’s about trust, collaboration, and responding to each other like a football team.”

Walters emphasized the importance of utilizing theatre as a catalyst for social change, adding, “We wanted to ensure that the participants gained a deeper understanding of how theatre can be a powerful tool for driving social transformation.

“In Zimbabwe, theatre is a muscle that continually strengthens through practice, and now, as we emerge from the challenges posed by COVID-19, the energy is returning, enabling us to create something even more impactful,” added Walters

The project was made possible through support from the US Embassy. The focus of the workshop was on fostering collaboration rather than working in isolation, encouraging artists to come together and utilize their collective talents.

Nyaradzo Noni Matanga, the creative and theatre festival coordinator, expressed her appreciation for the workshop, stating, “As an artist, the workshop was crucial for enhancing my skills and abilities. I had the opportunity to learn and grow in key areas such as communication, teamwork, energy management, and self-trust.

Lonesome Kudzaishe Tapuwa, DOS Exchange Alumni and workshop facilitator expressed his gratitude for the workshop, saying, “I feel blessed to have collaborated with talented young artists. The workshop was a valuable learning process for me, as it helped me understand how to build a strong team.

The workshop aimed to enhance the understanding of theatre practitioners on how to sustain themselves in the industry. It focused on harnessing the power of theatre for social change, encouraging participants to explore various methods of using theatre to raise awareness, spark dialogue, and inspire action on critical social issues.