CHIPAWO graduates making a mark

CHIPAWO graduates making a mark


HARARE - When the Children’s Performing Arts Workshop (CHIPAWO) was introduced in 1989, it started as an ambitious arts development programme for young children and the youth by Stephen Chifunyise and Robert McL

aren. Today, many CHIPAWO graduates, like Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana and David Chifunyise, are making their mark as popular recording musical artists in Zimbabwe.

New Horizon Theatre is a new theatre company based in Harare. Its members are young actors and actresses between the ages of 18 and 25. All of them have graduated either from CHIPAWO and its various performing groups or from the Zimbabwe Academy of Arts Education for Development with a Diploma in Performing Arts or a Diploma in Media Arts from the Midlands State University.

The group has premiered new plays at the past two editions of HIFA – “The Little Man of Murewa” in 2005, and “A Journey To Yourself” this year, a play based on the dramatic poem Peter Gynt by the Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen.

New Horizon represents not only a new horizon in the local theatre industry but also showcases a new breed of versatile, trained and experienced young performers. The group’s members have many stage appearances under their belts, both in Zimbabwe and abroad.

Over the last few years CHIPAWO has been in the process of establishing professional Zimbabwean youth theatre at the Reps Theatre in Harare. A one-week long run of the play, Vicious (2003), was staged there, followed by another run of two weeks of the same play. Vicious turned out to be a masterpiece of the Zimbabwean theatre and the young actors more than did the play justice. The same cast went on to stage another of Stephen Chifunyise’s plays, Soul Sister Comes to Africa (2004), also at Reps Theatre.

The Little Man of Murewa had a two-week run at the Reps Theatre and then made a tremendous impact in Denmark at the Meeting Place 2005 Theatre Festival as well as performances elsewhere in that country.

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