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Savanna Trust, UZ training arts managers

Savanna Trust in collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe is currently running an arts managers’ course at Belgravia Sports Club under the name, Theatre Factory Project.

The course is a new approach to theatre and arts in general with the aim of improving theoretical understanding of the industry. The programme started at the beginning of July and will run until December 31.

Programmes officer for the project, Melody Zambuko, said the course sought to strengthen the background of productions.

“We have crazy talent in Zimbabwe but what we have failed to do is market our productions to the regional and even international platforms because of lack of administration skills,” said Zambuko.

“We are trying to conscientise artistes on how important behind-the-scenes skills are in their trade. The course structure also goes a long way in professionalising the industry.”

The arts managers’ course includes theatre fusions with dance, music and acrobats.

Among other things, the course equips directors with skills to go about complex adaptations to overcome inherent limitations that are always evident in numerous productions.

“Basically I can say the course aims to step up the game in as far as theatre is concerned. We also look at issues like designing where we are saying the costume and appearance of the set should enhance the storyline. That is the only way we can have competent theatre productions,” she said.

A number of guest lecturers have been invited to facilitate the course that include Nicholas Moyo and Gregory Maqoma.

Moyo is the deputy director at the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe who recently graduated in a three-year course in Arts Management from Devos Institution of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, Washington.

Moyo last week hailed the initiative as a noble one and said it was long overdue.

“For so long focus has been on the skills and creative side while people did not realise that there is an equally important side which is the business part of arts,” he said.

“The only challenge left is for the sector in general to see the value in the initiative and support it so that we can improve our sector.”

Maqoma is a South African dance teacher highly respected on the dance scene in that country.

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