Malawi has a new theatre festival, the Malawi International Theatre Festival, courtesy of the National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam).
The festival’s publicity chairperson Stanley Kadzuwa said they have made efforts to incorporate numerous artistic genres to make sure that the platform encompasses different forms art.
Dikamawoko Dance Troupe in action at a previous event
“The inclusion of storytelling, dance and acoustic music is upon the realisation that art is viewed from a broader spectrum. Acoustic music in itself creates a calm theatrical atmosphere and experience. It is a way of life and a way of expressing theatre,” he said.
Kadzuwa said they have taken on board international acts to create a two-way relationship that will allow Malawian artists learn from how other people apply themselves theatrically and how much they borrow from their cultures.
He said: “Art unites people and cultures. We are in a global village where people are always moving and when on the road, art is always one way of living. The Covid-19 pandemic affected our ability to come together in this way and now is the time to get reconnected again.”
Kadzuwa said in the run-up to the festival, they will organise interactions with art lovers to gauge their expectations of the event in a bid to build interest so that people can come to support it.
Ntam president Maxwell DC Chiphinga said to achieve sustainability of the festival, they will try to establish strong partnerships with corporate entities and show the required zeal in organising and executing the festival to win the trust of the people.
“We have previously relied much on the assistance of international organisations who have been helping such events. With the Covid-19 pandemic, they paused their assistance and right now we have to explore other alternatives,” he said.
The newly introduced theatre event will roll out in December with a showcase of theatre, storytelling, poetry and acoustic music, organisers have announced.
Meanwhile, organisers have started identifying artists to participate in the inaugural edition of the festival.
The event has opened doors to both local and international acts. But in a departure from tradition, the organisers have said international artists interested to participate in the festival will fund their own travel, visa, insurance and per diem expenses as they will only be responsible for their entertainment permits.
According to communication from Ntam, the event will be taking place annually and those artists who feel eligible to participate should send their artistic profiles, synopses, recent pictures and a technical rider.
The launch event for the Malawi International Theatre Festival will take place from December 2 to 4 in multiple venues in Lilongwe.
The introduction of the festival has added on the list of other theatre events such as the Easter Theatre Festival which is coordinated by Solomonic Peacock.