On December 5 2012, theatre enthusiasts thronged the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) space, dearly called Theatre in the Park, for the last show of the year.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
There was excitement — it was Christmas time again and everyone looked forward to the opening show of 2013.
But that was not to be.
That particular show failed to take-off and that was the beginning of the problems that followed.
Rooftop Promotions, producers of Theatre in the Park, were booted out of the space after irreconcilable differences with owners of the place.
Daves Guzha, director of Rooftop was optimistic at the beginning of the year that a solution could be found. He remained so throughout the course of the year but has gone quiet as the year comes to an end.
Efforts to contact him last week on the future of the projects bore very little, if at all, significant information.
“We will see in the newyear. We have already closed office,” he said bluntly.
Asked whether there were plans underway to re-open, Guzha said; “Let us talk around January 10.”
Information coming from his camp suggests that it has taken longer than expected for him to get permission from the Harare City Council to use the Bend Shell Theatre in the Harare Gardens.
Guzha and company have only managed to do a handful of productions this year, which does not reflect positively on the reputation of Rooftop Promotions.
While the future looks bleak for Rooftop Promotions, what has brought solace are programmes like Chipawo that have shown the right spirit.
Meanwhile, the University of Zimbabwe Theatre Department had a vibrant year, as well as Savannah Trust and their arts managers’ training programmes.
Special mention should go to Tafadzwa Muzondo and his Edzai Isu Theatre Arts Project for managing a staggering 350 performances of their workplace theatre initiative.
Leeroy Gono, who was a few months ago appointed the first black artistic director for Charles Austin Theatre, is doing wonders in Masvingo having managed to take a play to Durban. He has lined up numerous tours in the new year.