From the 3rd to the 13th of January 2018, Almasi Collaborative Arts presented the Almasi African Playwrights Conference at Zimbabwe German Society. The 10-day intensive had 3 playwrights collaborating with local directors and actors in further developing new Zimbabwean work. The process was led by Visiting American Artist, Alice Tuan with 2017 Walter Muparutsa Fellow Gideon Jeph Wabvuta serving as a dramaturg. The Conference culminated in free public staged readings of the new Zimbabwean work. Varied in style and subject matter, all the three plays enjoyed a good audience turnout. Four staged readings were presented:
- The Prophet by Patrick Miller: The play deals with issues of monetized Christianity, sexuality and power struggles. An intense post-performance discussion followed the reading.
- Please Try Again Later by Rudo Mutangadura: Set in a kombi, the play deals with the African female’s self-possession, migrant labor, xenophobia and marital relationships as is affected by the African diaspora phenomena. A robust post-performance discussion followed the reading.
- Am I African by Farai Mabeza: The play’s central themes focus on African identity as is linked to land, race and land ownership in a post-colonial modernity. A deeply engaged post-performance discussion followed the reading.
- Family Riots by Gideon Jeph Wabvuta: The play, set in 1998 Zimbabwe during the infamous food riots, navigates the delicate terrain of traditions, spirituality, religion, and marriage for a family living in fast-changing times. An enthusiastic post-performance discussion followed the reading.
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