Theatre Festival Comes to Kampala

Music, dance, visual art and food festivals have all been held in Kampala. But for some reason, theatre has been marginalised.

Finally, a festival dedicated to theatre is set to run at the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) or National theatre, between November 26 and 30. Dubbed the Kampala International Theatre festival, the five-day do is a partnership between Bayimba Cultural Foundation and the Sundance Institute East Africa (SIEA).

The festival will bring together playwrights, actors, directors, and costume and stage designers – with an artistically diverse programme. The festival’s objective is to showcase plays from emerging and established African playwrights that are topical.

Created by SIEA’s Deborah Asiimwe and Bayimba’s Faisal Kiwewa, the programme includes the latest scripts from Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.

“We are going to be having the festival every year and we hope it becomes a platform for different theatre actors to collaborate,” Kiwewa told the press last week.

The festival will feature eight East African productions, with only one from Uganda – Strings, a play written by Angella Emurwon and directed by Rwanda’s Dorcy Rugamba. It’s a play about a woman dealing with the return of her husband from the diaspora, where he had spent some years.

Expect on stage great actors including Phillip Luswata and Kaya Kagimu Mukasa and younger breeds such as Diana Kahunde and William Otako. Other actors and actresses include: Gladys Oyenbot, Alice Lwanga, Brian Emurwon, Herve Kimenyi, Patriq Nkakalukanyi and Nicholas Welch, among others.

According to Asiimwe, directors will be tasked to handle productions that are not from their countries. This has created fear that they may fail to do justice to the emotions and monologue interpretations, because of the differences in culture.

Asiimwe, however, said they had enough training that equipped them with knowledge to work together regardless of background, and besides, “seeing work from one’s community and communities from elsewhere will inspire all these stakeholders to take theatre to another level”.

Asiimwe called upon directors and other theatre players that are not directly involved with SIEA to attend the festival because it will provide them with great opportunity to network with their counterparts. The festival will feature a musical, DJ Lwanda, which will be performed by renowned Kenyan artiste Eric Wainaina and our own Suzan Kerunen.

Source : The Observer

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