In its third edition from the 14th of September to the 2nd of October 2021, Mitambo International Theatre Festival organized by the Zimbabwe Theatre Academy, is running an inclusive and hybrid programme in the virtual and physical spaces under the theme, Rise Up.
Mitambo is a summer theatre festival that draws its name from the Shona word for plays which truly encapsulates what the festival is about:
A platform through which local and global communities can access and celebrate the diversity of cultural identity and artistic expression.
The festival continues to create an international platform for theatre practitioners and quality theatre for the audience . While the world is living in challenging times because of the global pandemic the exciting, carefully curated festival programme will bring moments of lightness and reflection whilst uncovering and supporting what theatre can be and what it can enable communities to do, in the pandemic and post-pandemic era.
The festival activities includes; a five day symposium which the festival has also partnered local Intwasa and Shoko festivals , workshops, five full length theatre plays, ten new short theatre plays curated under the Zimbabwe Theatre Academy mentorship of emerging writers and directors supported by Africalia and outreach to a rehabilitation/prison centres and a children’s home which are parts of the Zimbabwean society with limited access to cultural festivities will allow us to find a path and Rise Up.
The mentors in this year’s mentorship project include Lloyd Nyikadzino mentoring emerging directors , Teddy Mangawa mentoring actors , Gideon Wabvuta and Elizabeth Zaza Muchemwa working with new writers. Also this year, through the Goethe-Institut Moving Africa program, supported by Goethe-Institut South Africa, Goethe – Zimbabwe German Society ten young professional theatre practitioners from around the Africa continent will attend the festival physically to observe and engage in conversations for the purposes of cultural diplomacy.
Participants will come from Burkina Faso, Botswana , Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya , Senegal,Ethiopia , Uganda and Rwanda.
The festival’s cross-pollination of ideas, aesthetics and professional artistic potential between local, regional and international artists and artistic initiatives will enhance the Zimbabwean theatre landscape towards theatre taking on an active role in the socio-economic growth of our society.
The festival’s essential aims are to create platforms for generating new artistic international exchange and for engagement in education, partnerships, creation, promotion and consumption of theatre, and to use theatre for mutual understanding and world peace.
In these difficult times, the Mitambo International Theatre Festival programme was only possible through support from Africalia, Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Goethe-Institut South Africa, Goethe – Zimbabwe German Society, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, Reps Theatre, The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics and collaboration with earGROUND, Vivacity, Zimbabwe Centre of the International Theatre Institute, AfriKera, Music Crossroads Zimbabwe, Nhimbe Trust, Patsime Trust, and Savanna Trust, Chipawo Trust Zimbabwe, Dendere Arts Trust