By Anyway Yotamu
The second edition of Mitambo International Theatre festival is set to be held virtually due to the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event is going to take three weeks from the 15th of September to the 3rd of October 2020. The festival opening event will be on the 14th of September under the theme #CONNECT.
In a statement to the media, the event organisers said, “This year’s festival is going online and we will have zoom workshops and discussions, live streaming of short and full length plays on our Facebook pages.
“Mitambo International Theatre Festival and Zimbabwe Theatre Academy’s partners’ pages are Heart &Soul, Earground and others to be shared as soon as possible, ” the statement reads.
“This year’s edition is coming in style, responding to the new normal; giving the audiences a chance to experience theatre on screen. In the comfort of their home practitioners also get to share and learn from industry experts both local, regional, and international (Jasen Mpepho, Savanna Trust, Daves Guzha, Prof Schneider, Patience Tawengwa, Dr. Maedza, Plot Mhako, and many others online,” the statement reads.
“The COVID-19 pandemic gave us an opportunity to digitise and from here we are building on the model. But we cannot ignore the fact that we were looking forward to having a personal engagement and hosting people from different nationalities in our beautiful sunshine city as well as try to build the theatre-going culture in the local audiences. With the impact that we had last year, we were expecting more from this year. But corona happened and we are worried that some of our audiences are not online….they are out there where the Mitambo pop-ups would have reached them”.
Mitambo International Theatre Festival is an annual theatre festival that seeks to create partnerships and links between Zimbabwean theatre practitioners and regional and international theatre practitioners that manifest effective and relevant exchange linkages whilst establishing a world-class sustainable event that contributes to the long-term development of theatre in Zimbabwe with various guests expected to attend the program which include guest from South Africa, USA, Germany and some local artist the likes of Eddington Hatitongwe aka Bhaureni and Kessia Magosha aka Muchaneta.
The event started last year. It was a five-day summer festival held in Harare with a series of theatre performances, workshops, paper presentations,pop-ups, and shows. It was held under the theme Emerge.