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MeTambo News – Issue 2
International Theatre Institute Zimbabwe
July 17, 2013

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Not many Zimbabwean theatre practitioners were conducting play reading sessions on a regular basis, but Almasi Collaborative Arts is working outstandingly to create a viable culture of such a practice.

Dramatic literacy is a crucial component of powerful, excellent play making. A noticed component needed in Zimbabwean dramatic arts development is the comprehension and in-depth analysis of excellent dramatic works that have come before.

The Almasi Play Reading Series pursues a core Almasi value of Education in dramatic arts; without an awareness and understanding of some of the greatest dramatic works, the Zimbabwean dramatic artist cannot develop to the level of dramatic literacy necessary to create compelling, well structured, dramatic works. Their goal is to facilitate excellent new Zimbabwean works into existence, works that can compete on global level and leave behind a Zimbabwean dramatic literature legacy.

The play reading series nurtures the Zimbabwean dramatic arts community. It facilitates actors who participate as readers of selected plays in their acting and dramatic literature comprehension; it also nurtures playwrights and directors to learn from great works as they cultivate their own specific voice.

The series also nurtures another core value in dramatic art development, that of dramaturgy. Dramaturgy, or the process of deeply researching the specifics of the world under exploration is crucial. It allows for the portrayal to be rich, resonant and specific to the placement of the play in time, space and moment in history. Also crucial in dramaturgy is comprehension of the structure of the story laid out and the cohesion of the story in terms of theme, character, plot and resolution. These components are vital to a high standard of play making.

Ultimately this series serves to strengthen the local dramatic community and begins the groundwork for comprehensive Zimbabwean dramatic arts development. It begins the process of how plays must be studied and deeply investigated in order for powerful, excellent plays and artists to result. Radio Golf by August Wilson will be fourth staged reading in Almasi's play reading series. The reading performance, directed by Julie Wharton, will be at 2:00 PM on July 20th at ZGS. Auditions will held at ZIFF on July 8th from 2 PM - 8 PM.

This is play number 10 in Wilson's 10 plays Pittsburgh Cycle. Each different play in the cycle is set in a different decade and focuses on some aspect of what it is to be African American, what it is to be a member of society, what it is to be a human being. 'Radio Golf', set in 1997, looks at the public and private battles individuals choose to fight, challenges us to consider the conflict between personal gain and moral integrity, and highlights how identity is tied to the past as well as the future.

“Theater is life without the boring parts." Alfred Hitchcock

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