National Theatre Workshop Being Held

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK SOME 30 Namibian theatre activists are expected to attend a three-day National Theatre Administrator’s Training Workshop from this morning until Sunday in the capital. The much-needed workshop is staged by the Southern African Theatre Initiative (SATI) and is made financially possible by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) “In an effort to raise the status of theatre in southern Africa, SATI embarked on a National Training Programme for Theatre Administrators. The workshops have also been run successfully in several other African countries so far,” said the executive Secretary of SATI, Mpho Molepo, on Wednesday during an Art/Life interview. Nine similar workshops have been presented in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Malawi, Lesotho, Mauritius and Zambia. According to Molepo, the workshop is aimed at building capacity for administrators in the arts, instilling a sense of accountability among theatre administrators, establishing good financial and administration practices within the industry, establishing standard management practices within the industry and producing a well-rounded administrator who will raise the status of theatre in southern Africa. SATI, representing 11 countries, including Namibia, has been promoting theatre in the SADC region for the past six years. “The workshop caters for two training sections, namely intermediate, for administrators with two to three years’ practical experience in theatre administration and an advanced course for administrators with more than three years’ practical experience or currently in a management position within a theatre organization and or arts school,” SATI’s Executive Secretary, who arrived in the country on Wednesday, said. The National Theatre of Namibia and a number of local theatre groups are also involved in the workshop, which lasts until this Sunday. “In addition to the workshop, two representatives of the renowned South African Windybrow Theatre in Johannesburg will also join the workshop with the aim of establishing theatre links with Namibian theatre groups for local productions to be considered for performances in Johannesburg. Zambia was the first country to have forged links with the theatre and since last year plays from that country have been performed under its auspices in South Africa. The same can happen to Namibia,” Molepo, an accomplished actor and one of the deputy chairpersons of the Grahamstown Arts Festival, said encouragingly. For more information on the workshop, Molepo can be contacted on 081-316-6264.