Theatre Festival Eyes Originality

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Only self-written theatre play scripts will be accepted for participation in this year’s annual Youth Theatre Festival, it was announced in a press release by the organisers. The exciting three-day festival, the ultimate creative platform for all Namibian theatre, will be staged for the 23rd year by the longest surviving community theatre organization, Committed Artists of Namibia (CAN), on June 21 to 23. According to the press statement, the festival last year focused primarily on dramas by published playwrights. “This year we will concentrate on self-written plays in preparation for the festival’s first 25 years in 2008. An anthology of plays performed over the years in the festival will then be published to reconfirm the importance of theatre as an acceptable form of creative expression in the Namibia society,” the statement said. Last year the Athol Fugard play, My Children. My Africa was judged the overall best stage work from 23 entries. “CAN is bringing back the school section of the festival this year for the sake of rural theatre development, courtesy financial support from the Finnish embassy in Windhoek,” the communiquÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© said. Seven selected groups from rural towns have been identified to take part in the junior section of the Youth Theatre Festival, whereas established community theatre groups will be eligible to perform in the very competitive section. “Self-written play scripts will once again be judged for their literary value and merit for fairness by theatre experts abroad. Two South African judges will adjudicate the stage presentations as well as the school section,” it said. The deadline for play script entries is April 30. Interested groups and playwrights can contact CAN’s organising secretary, Felicity Celento, at telephone 25332, Windhoek.