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A new dream for New Horizon

December 06, 2010

The New Horizon Theatre Company has had a busy year as it continues its efforts to bring the work of the world's great writers to Zimbabwe, starting with Rabindranath Tagore earlier in the year and then going on to Henrik Ibsen in between various music, dance and corporate theatre performances.

But their current venture has an atmosphere all of its own. First of all, the cast is much much larger than those for Tagore's "The Post Office" and "The Most Wonderful Thing of All". Secondly, this time the play is in Shona and there is lots of music - Catholic church music! New Horizon, with a vast cast, is doing the Spanish writer, Calderon's "Life is a Dream" in a Shona translation, entitled "Mutambo Wapanyika".

Pedro Calderon de la Barca, commonly known as Calderon, lived from 1600 to 1681. He wrote a number of melodramas but his one, more serious, more philosophical play, was "La vida es sueno" (Life is a Dream), based on a story from the East.

The Spanish Embassy in Harare, which, along with a number of other Spanish organisations, is pursuing an energetic programme of support for the arts, published the script of a previous performance by staff and pupils at Gokomere Schhol near Masvingo and now they have commissioned New Horizon to perform it.

The play is being directed by Stephen Chifunyise, Chipo Basopo (manager of CHIPAWO) and a CHIPAWO graduate, Simba Joseph. Given the play's special characteristics, a number of resource persons have been invited in to help with various aspects, notably the well-known television writer, Aaron Chirundiramoyo, to assist with the language, and Rumbidzai Chipendo of the Zimbabwe Association of Music Educators (ZAME) to assist with the singing - not hitherto a strong point in CHIPAWO productions. So far she seems to have worked wonders.

The play opens on 17th December.

Visit the CHIPAWO fact sheet

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