On 22nd March, the well-known arts education organisation, CHIPAWO, will be holding three important events at the Theatre in the Park: the launch of a fulltime professional youth theatre company, the New Horizon Youth Theatre; the premier of the company’s first play, Rudo neRunyararo, adapted from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by Peter Churu and Robert Mshengu Kavanagh; and the launch of CHIPAWO’s involvement in the international CUSP project [Culture for Sustainable and Inclusive Peace].
Set in a small town in Zimbabwe and acted in Shona, Rudo noRunyararo the features the feuds and animosities between the mayor and the local bus company owner and their families as well as their domestic conflicts, leading to inevitable tragedy, which opens their eyes and those of the community to the futility of their enmity and the need for reconciliation.
The play will run from 22nd of March to the 1st of April 2023 at Theatre in the Park, Harare Gardens.
New Horizon Youth Theatre Company has been in existence since 2003, with performances in a number of venues in Harare, including the Reps Theatre, and in cities and towns all over Zimbabwe. Their major plays include: Vicious (2003), S.J. Chifunyise’s masterpiece about middle class poverty; Soul Sister Comes to Africa (2004), also by Chifunyise; The Little Man of Murewa (2005), adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s story, ‘Little Claus and Big Claus’, premiered at the Harare International Festival of the Arts and in Denmark; A Journey to Yourself, adapted from Norwegian dramatist, Henrik Ibsen, play Peer Gynt, premiered at the Harare International Festival of the Arts; a dramatisation of Charles Mungoshi’s classic novel, Waiting for the Rain; Rabindranath Tagore’s The Post Office ; The Most Wonderful Thing of All, based on Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House , premiered at the in Lusaka, and later performed at the International Ibsen Conference in Norway; with theatre group, Zambuko/Izibuko, The Gaza Monologues  with Ashtar Theatre in Palestine; Calderon della Barca’s The Dream of Life, translated in Shona as Mutambo Wepanyika; and more recently Lu Xun’s The True Story of Ah Q , which ran for a week at the Jason Mbepu Theatre in Harare.
CUSP is an international programme, hosted by the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Other participants include Litfest in Harare, Ghana, Mexico, Morocco, Palestine and Scotland. It aims to explore ways of resolving conflicts and initiating reconciliation and transformation through the arts. With the New Horizon Youth Theatre Centre [NHYTC] as hub, four organisations will devise ways and means of using the arts to discuss and help reconcile conflict in the community.