Educational Puppet Show Starts in the South

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By Frederick Philander

WINDHOEK

A six-month educational Aids youth theatre puppet project of Assitej-Namibia will become a reality this Monday with the premiere performance of the Trumpet Player at a rural school.

This was announced by the national coordinator of the organisation and director of the play, Richard Swartz.

“The secretariat has decided on a rural performance due to the fact that everything is capital-based. Hence the fact that our rural centres will be the first to see the commissioned 40-minute play,” Swartz said of the play that was financed by the Finnish Embassy in Windhoek.

The Trumpet Player is scheduled for performances next week in the South, the first leg of a national tour to all the organisation’s centres.

“The first performance of the Trumpet Player will take place on Monday morning at 08h00 at Dr Lemmer Secondary School in Rehoboth. The play is scheduled to be performed to the whole school as part of the academic day.

We are very grateful to all the principals of schools in the South that have agreed to have the play performed at their schools as part of our educational outreach programme,” the young theatre activist said.

The performances are combined with a workshop on the use of puppets within the education system.

“We have found that as a complementary educational tool puppets can be used very effectively in the teaching process, transforming subject matter into an exciting experience to learners. This form of teaching is still a far way off, but it can work in Namibia like it does in European countries. We are happy to introduce this educational approach as a first and hope that the idea will be applied to help improve results in schools,” Swartz said.

The multiple roles in the play are portrayed by seasoned actress, Anna Louw and Richard Swartz.

The rest of the Southern regional puppet play tour is as follows: Tuesday: Mariental, Wednesday: Gibeon, Thursday: Keetmanshoop and Karasburg and Friday: Luderitz.

“Some of the performances are being staged immediately after school due to loaded academic school programmes. We do not have a problem with that as long as we get the theatre message through to the children on the AIDS problem our country suffers from and daily faces,” said Swartz.

The Trumpet Player was written by Lize Kubersky and Michael Chinigua for Assitej-Namibia.

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