THEATRE in the Park, a premier theatre venue for the capital which is set to be reopened at a new site in the Harare Gardens, will provide new packages that are expected to whet the appetite of theatre-starved thespians.
Theatre in the Park closed its doors 2012 following contractual disagreements between Rooftop Promotions and the Zimbabwe International Book Fair – custodians of the thatched gazebos that house the theatre venue.
In an effort to preserve the seventeen year-old brand, which has played host to numerous plays from all over the world, Rooftop Promotions approached Harare City Council to upgrade Bend Shell Theatre to a state of the art theatre venue.
The 500-seater venue which will open its doors in September, will also introduce new products will also have unique conference amenities, internet services and productions will be streamed live via the internet.
One product that is likely to incite theatre patrons is a membership facility for patrons and organizations which will enable thespians to subscribe for a period of time to the venue and enjoy unique benefits for their pleasure.
“Some of the unique benefits are discounts for tickets, inviting a friend on discount, priority entrance and sitting in the venue as well as occasional invites on Premiere Nights. This facility is not only limited to individuals but extended to organizations as well,” said Daves Guzha of Rooftop Promotions.
“For organizations they will have the privilege of inviting their staff members to plays with discounted tickets and the organization will have the opportunity of using the venue either as a workshop or conference facility on discount.”
Membership will be in three categories that is Individual, organizations and the youth.
“The second product is called Friends of Theatre in the Park where individuals are going to be drawn from Patrons who have shown a keen interest in the development of theatre and arts and in particular Theatre in the Park seriously,” Guzha explained.
“We have seen the need to appoint and share ideas with dedicated people who can be the bridge between the institution and the patrons.
“The team of a few people will be made up of members of the public and will be mandated to familiarize the venue and its programs as well as work hand in hand with the producer and resident artistic director on how productions can be improved and what content should be included in upcoming productions,” he added.Advertisement
The resident artistic director would also help the upcoming and community based groups on how best they can approach the industry at a professional level.
“This Resident Artistic Director will be used for purposes of quality control and evaluation of all productions coming to Theatre in the Park and will also be hands on with community based groups who needs professional guidance for their work to be accepted locally regionally and internationally,” Guzha said.
Other benefits are for production houses based in Harare who will have free rehearsal access to the new venue while some of their products would also be showcased at the new venue.
Zimbabwean theatre lovers will also have a chance to buy productions (DVDs) that have been showcased for the past two decades because a kiosk stocked with Rooftop Promotions and other production houses’ works will also be common feature at this new venue.
“All these developments are being implemented after having leant and shared experiences with other international theatre venues at various gathering that Rooftop Promotions has been attending for the past year internationally,” Guzha added.
“The venue is what the arts industry has been waiting for since it will answer the challenges that the industry has been facing in terms of state of the art venue and in terms of playing our role to re-generation of our city, we have had to ensure this venue does fit in well with the City of Harare’s vision of being a World Class City by 2025.”