Theatre In The Park brings back stage plays

WHEN Rooftop Promotion’s Theatre in the Park shut its doors in 2012, the theatre world fell on its knees.

Now four years later, it is back with a bang, offering different activities. Rooftop Promotion’s media and information officer, Robert Tapfumaneyi, said it is all about offering a platform for the arts sector as a whole.

“The diversity is not benefitting Rooftop; it’s benefitting the arts industry. As you are aware, the sector has been led by the passion from individuals such as Daves Guzha and Cont Mhlanga just to mention the two.

“They have soldiered on with little or no tangible help at all from the ministry of Arts and its officials, which I guess does not even know if there is a venue like Theatre in The Park.

“If individuals don’t do something for the arts sector, which has potential to contribute to the GDP of the country, then it will remain in doldrums.

“So the best people to answer how they are benefitting from Rooftop are those in the arts sector and maybe extend that question to the ministry if they know they can also benefit from such a venue like Theatre in The Park,” he said.

So far, they have hosted theatre, dance, folklores, comedy and others.

“Every programme has its audience but by introducing these new programmes, we have managed to bring all our patrons together. 

“They now have the chance to watch all activities in one place and some of the programmes that we are or will introduce are actually coming from the patrons themselves. I can see in the not-so-distant future not a single day passing without an event at Theatre in The Park.

“What I can tell you is that it’s not easy to bring any new programme to the venue, it takes lots of energy and logistics. It also needs a dedicated team and stakeholders’ 100 percent participation. Some walk in with new ideas and never come back; some walk in and its spot-on, so it’s all about curatorship that brings a new programme to Theatre in The Park among Theatre in The Park, stakeholders and the patrons as well,” said Tapfumaneyi.  

At the official opening programme, there were a lot of diverse artistes from different genres in the arts industry. Mbira musician Hope Masike, Chirikure Chirikure and Patience Phiri on poetry, Tariro ne Gitare and a primary school traditional group from Guruve were present.

“We also have brought the Jibilika Dance Festival and we now have a dance competition every Friday afternoon. At the opening, we termed it Jakwara meaning it was an invite to all individuals, groups, productions houses in the arts sector and school to come and showcase their programmes. We want the venue to be a one stop shop for the arts industry, so the motivation is we now have a bigger space and no one should be left out from all corners of the country in the use of the venue.” —
Sharon Muguwu

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