By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The general manager of the National Theatre of Namibia and one of the Theatre Zone winners have just returned from a ten-day theatre exchange trip from Finland. Werner Thaniseb, playwright Henry Bailey and Laurinda Samson-Olivier visited the Finnish capital, Helsinki, to rekindle and reaffirm an existing theatre exchange programme with the Kom theatre in that city. “We had valuable consultations and theatre creative idea exchanges with the managements of Kom Theatre as well as with the Theatre Academy in Helsinki in the hope of expanding theatrical exchanges on a higher level between our two countries,” said Werner Thaniseb this week before going on leave until January 9 when the NTN reopens. According to the NTN theatre boss a three-year agreement had been signed with the two Finnish institutions, the NTN and the Unam Performing Department. “We have formed this tripartite body to empower all of us on a stronger level especially with regard to student exchanges. We can all benefit through research and working programmes in both countries on a rotating basis, enriching us all,” said Thaniseb, who has been running the NTN for almost a year now. He hopes to implement many new and innovative plans in efforts to reposition the NTN as a proper national theatre in the new year. “The NTN should really live up to its name as a national organ for the promotion and marketing of theatre as a national product to all corners of our country. My biggest focus will be on audience development, something serious lacking within the society. In this regard NTN will next year launch its own regional youth festivals and in this it will accommodate existing efforts, too,” Thaniseb asserted.
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