RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sharing artistic experiences


At the National Theatre on Wednesday evening, Uganda Theatre Network (UTN), gave theatregoers a taste of what will be showcased during the fifth Eastern Africa Theatre Institute (EATI) regional festival in Ethiopia from 22-27 November 2008.

Phillip Luswatas latest play, Crazy Storms was staged together with a musical production from Bitone Children’s Centre and Troupe titled The Princess Wish for Marriage.

Crazy Storms, which is directed by Mr. Richard Kagolobya, a lecturer of drama at Makerere University, is a product of the play-devising workshop by Performing Arts Cooperation between Sweden and Eastern Africa (Pacsea). It dramatises the experiences of refuges and the challenges they go through in a new setting.

The title carries symbolic connotations, for in this play characters struggle to deal with psychological, physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, and political storms as they find themselves in a refugee camp and so have to face this displacement in its totality and the many storms raging within themselves.

The other artistic presentation uses various traditional dances, instrumental music and drama to narrate a story of how the kings only daughter married a commoner. In normal circumstances, it would be impossible for a princess to marry the local guy; a commoner, according to Mr. Lawrence Branco Sekalegga, the Executive Director of Bitone Children’s Centre and Troupe.

Among the audience was the Minister of State for Gender and Cultural Affairs, Hon. Rukia Isanga Nakadama who said she was fascinated by the professionalism in the two presentations and thanked UTN for its commitment to promote and facilitate the development of theatre in the region.

Overall, 40 artistes including professional storyteller Ms. Judith Lucy Adong, will represent the country at the biannual festival and get to share their artistic experiences in theatre management, script writing, sound and costume design and performances in acting, storytelling, music and dance, with others from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

Themed Celebrating Cultural Diversity for African Solidarity and Peace, this year’s event will celebrate the contribution of art and culture to social development and the role of the artists in addressing social issues.

There has been growing concern that our cultural differences have worked to divide us than to enrich our lives, said UTN Executive Director Mr. Andrew Ssebaggala Lwanga. This festival is therefore a conscious and deliberate effort to reiterate that cultural differences should be perceived as a positive environment for understanding, tolerance and growth.

He says the festival will build a platform for enrichment of cross-cultural artistic exchange and learning to help performing arts grow in strength and scope both for individual participants and their communities.

The closing ceremony will see Uganda’s long theatre practitioner Fagil Mandy and the chosen few from other participating countries awarded for their outstanding contribution to the development of the regions performing arts.

The Ugandan team is expected to return with a deeper understanding of cross-cultural issues and to share what they will have learned with their immediate audience to enrich the country’s creative industry.

The venues for the week-long festival include the Ethiopian National Theatre, The Addis Ababa City Hall Theatre, Hager Fiker Theatre and Addis Ababa University.

--Saturday Monitor, November 22, 2008