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24 hour theatre comes to Zimbabwe.

For the first time in theatre history, the “24-Hour Theatre Challenge”, comes to Zimbabwe. Brought to the Harare International Festival of the Arts by New Zealand-based playwright Stanley Makuwe, in collaboration with actress and director Eunice Tava, this production is one definitely not to miss!

According to Makuwe, the “24-Hour Theatre Challenge” is a creative “pressure-cooker”, in which five 10-minute plays will be written, rehearsed and performed within 24 hours.

“Will the writers break their deadline? Will the actors forget their lines? Will the plays be ready?” Makuwe asked.

Artistes who have been picked to qualify for the “24-Hour Theatre Challenge” are as diverse as their backgrounds and the majority of them come from a rich theatre history.

So far, Marian Kunonga, Tafadzwa Muzondo, Vimbai Mutinhiri, Chipo Bizure, Zenzo Nyathi, Sylvanos Mudzvova, Patrick Chasaya, Nothando Nobengula and many more have been shortlisted for the challenge but looking at each thespian conjures a different feeling and appreciation.

Marian is a versatile actress, producer and director all wrapped into one. She not only featured in theatre but also award-winning films.

Most of her productions were instant hits and God knows how she is going to fare at the challenge.

Muzondo has risen through the ranks of theatre after he started out as a development theatre sZenzo Nyathtage actor. He later formed his own community-based theatre group called Edzai ISU in Highfield.

Since 2002, Edzai ISU Theatre Arts Project has curved a niche in workplace theatre since focusing on workplace related activities and awareness campaigns. The group has done over 100 plays for organisations such as the National Social Security Authority, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe, National Aids Council and Zimbabwe Business Council on HIV and Aids to mention a few.

Muzondo won the Best Producer Award at the 2005 National Theatre Festival held in Zambia. He also won the Best Theatre Actor at the National Arts Merits Awards (Nama) in 2009 and has worked in various managerial capacities for arts, advertising, events management and promotions companies in Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Sultry actress Bizure, more commonly known as Eve after her role in the popular soap Studio 263, is no pushover as she has excelled in many productions since she switched from screen to stage.

She is ranked among the top 10 theatre actresses in the country and has fitted well in most of her roles including her performance in the trailer called “Sinners” where she portrays a prostitute.

The surprise thespian is model and former Big Brother reality show star Vimbai. In all fairness, Vimbai has never featured in any local production and not many people know her as an actress.

Will she stand the heat of writing, rehearsing and performing within 24 hours, perhaps that is the most exciting part of this show?

Like Vimbai, Nothando is another surprise package  on the list but much is expected from her as most people know her as an accomplished actress rather than as a director.

As for Nyathi and Mudzvova, these are some of Zimbabwe’s A-listers and veteran theatre actors.

Nyathi is an experienced actor who has worked with both Rooftop Promotions and Amakhosi Theatre. He has featured in a number of productions in which he acted, produced and directed.

Mudzvova, who runs his own theatre company called Vhitori Entertainment, perhaps knows theatre like the back of his hand, is surely expected to live up to the challenge.

If you were to compile a list of gurus in Zimbabwean theatre, a name like Chasaya cannot be left out. He has been there and done that in the sector and has written his own plays, which were mostly featured at Theatre in the Park.

The performances will be held at Reps Theatre at Hifa, which starts on May 1 until May 6, 2012. The festival runs under the theme “A Show of Spirit.” Herald ent.

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