By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
In a bid to revive theatre in Zimbabwe, the International Theatre Institute (ITI) hosted the Zimbabwe Writing Master Class which ran for two weeks.
The programme was held to make amends to four pillars of theatre which are to make sure artists are equipped with knowledge production, to foster collaboration, make sure there is professional development and to safeguard theatre in Zimbabwe.
In attendance were professionals from different sectors, including engineers, nurses, business personal, musicians and the clergy and the developmental side.
ITI Zimbabwe Centre chairperson Zaza Muchemwa said the performance of arts has been highly affected and this is one of the reasons why they held the programme.
“The status of our performing arts like, film, theatre, music and dance have been also highly affected by brain drain,” Muchemwa said.
“Some of the best creative minds and instructors have migrated out of the country for other opportunities.
“The quality and quantity of work we used to experience in previous years between 1994 and 2000 was slowly declining within our public domain.
“As an organisation that is critical and serious about theatre development, we have discovered that the root of every successful creative endeavor starts from the plan.
“In visual arts painters’ first work on sketches before the final peace, in film and theatre the quality of the script determines the quality of the peace.”
The programme cut across all sectors.
“Our selection criteria for this programme was a bit different because we opened our doors wide to other booming writers in other areas,” Muchemwa said.
“It was a multi-disciplinary approach where put into cognisant that as the world prepares for the fourth industrial revolution, the creative sector has been tipped to be the leaders to pioneer the development.
“The world economic forum is notion that arts and humanities are fundamental pillars of any education system, and in today’s technology-dominated world their contribution to the school curriculum is more important than ever.
“Different school of thoughts have agreed that STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] subjects are not enough.
“While education in STEM is paramount, the changing nature of the skills required to enter or re-enter the job market shows that STEM education is not enough.
“Now and ever artistic values like, balance, aesthetics, form structure, are now having a multi-disciplinary approach across industries.
“Even in industrial design aesthetics, form, creativity have become drivers of economic growth and development.
“Generations of today and tomorrow need to become versed in abilities such as empathy, imagination, creativity, and the key to develop these abilities is a life-long education that is interdisciplinary, cross-functional, cross-industry and cross-cultural.”
The Master Class was held virtually and had 12 participants and additional members from ITI.
The course covered a number of areas, including contents of storytelling and scene development, what a story is and how it can be developed, how to write for the developmental side CSOs and documentary presentation. There was also an area on how to write for the web series, TV, stage and creating the artist voice.
The course taught on issues on how to think globally but building locally, putting theories into practice in a bid to identify the market and mastering uniqueness.
Personal investment developments by creating a conducive studio for production, mastering the backstory, utilising the 4ws and an H, when, where, what, who and How.
Practice and research, fundamentals of writing and showing the story more than saying it.