By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK A six-week playwright empowerment workshop is currently under way at the National Theatre of Namibia as part of the Theatre Zone play competition. The workshop for selected Namibian playwrights is over weekends facilitated by Dr Sarala Krishnamurthy, of the School of Communication at the Polytechnic of Namibia. “My approach to the workshop is purely academic in preparing the works of Namibian playwrights whose works will be published in August this year. I primarily work with the winners of the Golden Pen Awards and other writers who have been short-listed,” said Krishnamurthy, who has a lot of hope for Namibian playwriting. She primarily focuses on writing techniques and stage craft with those writers in the advanced classes. “The beginner’s group is experiencing some problems such as the use of English as a form of theatrical expression. With them I focus primarily on play structure and characterization. They, too, also have a lot of potential that needs to be developed and nurtured. They have a lot of enthusiasm and commitment in applying their writing skills,” said Krishnamurthy, who has a Masters degree in drama. Last year’s best male playwright winner in the Golden Pen Awards, Henry Bailey, expressed delight in the advanced classes he attends over weekends. “I hope to learn as much as possible from these classes because I know very little about practical stage-writing as I never had the opportunity to get involved in theatre-writing,” said Bailey, whose play, Morenga, last year earned him a place in the Golden Pen Awards.