Archive | March 2016

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Of Vulnerability and Risk Taking

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Blog, March 2016 | 0 comments

Of Vulnerability and Risk Taking

  Of Vulnerability and Risk Taking Harare, March 31st 2016 | Sandra Chidawanyika-Goliath   Sometimes you seem like you are being so careful” reads a line from my end of Mentee Directors Training Evaluation of 11 December 2014 by my esteemed mentor Julia Wharton “Miss Julie”. I was eager to work more on this as I developed my directing techniques over the past two years, and to let this reflect, especially, in my play choices.   I first read the play, The Elephant Man in early 2015 while searching for my first play to...

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That’s the Way to Go

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Blog, March 2016 | 0 comments

That’s the Way to Go

  That’s the Way to Go Harare, March 31st 2016 | Gideon Jeph Wabvuta   The artist in me was drawn to August Wilson the first time I read Fences. The actor in me wanted to play Troy so much. I wanted to just wear his strength, passion and freedom just once, but well I was/still am too young for that role. The writer in me was in awe of the completeness of the characters, the hate-able but so believable flaws, the creation of characters like Gabe who seemingly is useless until he blows his horn and just drenches you in sorrow...

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Glen View Workshop

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Blog, Gideon Jeph Wabvuta, March 2016 | 0 comments

Glen View Workshop

In 2013, I had the opportunity to be part of the Almasi playwrights intensive workshop with Nikkole Salter. This workshop changed the way I thought about playwrighting, so whenever I would stand up and talk about playwrighting I was coming from an informed point of view. Fast forward 3 years later, I’m asked to hold a 5-day playwriting workshop for a group of school leavers in Glen View. I took up the opportunity. In a rush, I created a comprehensive curriculum based on what I had been taught by Nikkole. As I walked into the room with the youths and commenced a conversation with them, I realized I had to go back to the basic story creation.

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The Rehearsal Room

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Blog, Kudzai Sevenzo, March 2016 | 0 comments

The Rehearsal Room

I walked gingerly into the rehearsal room for Danai’s play “Familiar,” delighted that I had been allowed to become the proverbial fly on the wall (or so I thought) for this off-Broadway play at Playwrights Horizons. After meeting the playwright, director and incredibly talented cast, I sat quietly in a corner to observe. I was watching the perfect collaboration – a beautifully written play that was perfectly cast and a sensitive and intuitive director. It doesn’t get any better than this!

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My Audition Trek

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Blog, Kudzai Sevenzo, March 2016 | 0 comments

My Audition Trek

When I received the Almasi’s cultural exchange artist grant I was thrilled. I also knew very well that I was embarking on one of the most challenging chapters of my life. Despite that, I had made up my mind: it was time for me to take this giant leap and apply for grad school. Almasi workshops had awoken in me a deep desire to be fully immersed in an acting program. Having no idea what to expect, I knew the best thing I could possibly do for myself was to pick the right monologue: something that truly resonated with me. As I prepared myself emotionally and mentally for the journey ahead, I was constantly aware of the fact that whatever I did I had to show my own uniqueness — not just as an individual, but as an African woman who had come all the way from Zimbabwe.

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The Writers Dialogue Series

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Blog, March 2016 | 0 comments

The Writers Dialogue Series

From January 2016 to March 2016 Almasi presented Zimbabwean playwrights in the process of developing their plays; a platform for them to receive feedback on their works in progress through a series of writers’ dialogues. Plays from participating playwrights were read by local actors to a small invited audience. Fashioned after the play development process from the Almasi African Playwrights Festival, the dialogue gave the playwrights meaningful feedback from the audience and the actors who took part in the staged readings. In return, the playwrights also interacted with the audience by asking them questions and talking about their writing processes. Through these dialogues, they were able to get an understanding of what worked in their plays and what needed to be worked on.

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Facilitating the Writer’s Dialogue

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Blog, Gideon Jeph Wabvuta, March 2016 | 0 comments

Facilitating the Writer’s Dialogue

I am a writer who works on a thousand things at the same time, up to the point that I write 4-5 plays at the same time (or rather I draft 5 plays and really focus on 1). So when I got the chance to present my latest work, family riots, at the Almasi writers’ dialogue I was thrilled. I had a testing ground for my new work. The experience was quite good, as I was struggling to nail down the concrete plot line of my story. I knew my plot was full of holes, and I was desperate to plug them but I was struggling to find them. So after the play was read out the holes were exposed. I was desperately trying to note them down. I also got the grand opportunity to hear my play aloud, which quickly made me realize my dialogue was not exactly how I wanted it to sound. I quickly went back to it and re-wrote it.

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Eye Opening

Posted by on Mar 20, 2016 in Blog, Kudzai Sevenzo, March 2016 | 0 comments

Eye Opening

My stay in New York has been so very rewarding and eye opening. Despite the fact that I left an intense heat wave in Harare to be welcomed by a blizzard in New York, I think I have adjusted pretty well to the weather! Soon after I arrived in New York, I met my acting coach, Susan, in person. I had my first couple of lessons with her on Skype, as she began assisting me long distance in preparation for my grad school monologues. I chose Eve Ensler’s Necessary Targets, as well as Othello, Macbeth and later, thanks to Danai, a much needed 4th monologue by Suzi Lori Parks: Venus. The final monologue helped me to show a lot more of my capabilities as an actor. I participated in 8 auditions as well as the regional Satellite auditions. I went on to receive 3 offer letters (E15 in the U.K, New York Film Academy, and Stella Adler). I have also received follow-ups and strong interest from 3 other schools who’ve yet to give me their final decisions.

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Spotlight: Gideon Jeph Wabvuta

Posted by on Mar 19, 2016 in Blog, Gideon Jeph Wabvuta, March 2016 | 0 comments

Spotlight: Gideon Jeph Wabvuta

I have been working with Almasi since its first staged reading, A Raisin in the Sun, when I was still a theatre student at the University of Zimbabwe. From the reading, I was fortunate to be accepted into the playwrights intensive which was run by Nikkole Salter. There I was selected as the participant who was to be mentored by Nikkole. This was followed by another staged reading of The Convert, directed by Danai Gurira. The end of the year saw the full production being done where I reprised my role as Chilford. All this was a balancing act as I was still a student at the UZ. During the full production of The Convert, I would go to an exam in the morning then rush to rehearsal. It wasn’t an easy task, but it clearly taught me resilience, hard work and discipline.

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Tumaini: A Great Experience

Posted by on Mar 19, 2016 in Blog, March 2016 | 0 comments

Tumaini: A Great Experience

My passion lies in primarily telling stories through the body. My desire is to see the body profoundly communicate that which we are sometimes shy or afraid to speak. I was honored to have been selected by Almasi Collaborative Arts to lead a seven-day physical theatre lab, an exploration focusing on character creation and development. During the lab, I invited the actors to walk with me in exploring this world, and in the process help them awaken the same imagination and magic that is associated in the character investigation process. I wanted them to become inspired to find and share their own voices and influence an understanding of the impact of their bodies in space.

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