Super Patriots and Morons
Theatre in the Park
Theatre in the Parkâ€™s brand new space is now open! To honour our history of controversial, boundary-breaking productions, the first play on the new stage will be Super Patriots and Morons, the first play to be banned in independent Zimbabwe.
Raisedon Bayaâ€™s explosive play will be performed by the original cast â€“ Daves Guzha and Oâ€™Brien Mudyiwei, who will be joined by veteran Theatre in the Park actor Mandla Moyo, and Eunice Taya.
Super Patriots and Morons was first performed in Harare at the original Theatre in the Park in 2003. Theatre in the Parkâ€™s outreach programme sent the performance to every one of Zimbabweâ€™s ten provinces, engaging local communities. The play resonated powerfully across Zimbabwe â€“ people struggling with food and fuel shortages identified closely with the principal character, a woman who vents her frustration with the failed leadership of her country. When Super Patriots and Morons returned to Harare in 2004, the Censorship Board used an entertainment control act passed under the Rhodesian government in 1967 to ban the play, proving the power of the playâ€™s proclamation against failed leadership.
The actors responded by touring the play across Southern Africa and Europe. The regional and international response to the play was strongly positive, generating a wide base of support for Theatre in the Park, and raising serious questions about the nature of censorship and repression in Zimbabwe.
The play tells the story of a woman living in a non-functioning state. In a queue one day, she explodes with frustration, and is arrested for her outburst. She is brought before the unnamed leader, who she confronts. By your greed and mismanagement you have failed us, she tells him.
Twelve years after Super Patriots and Morons was banned, the message is a strong and a relevant one. As the country remains stranded in political stasis, Zimbabweans look with anxiety to the future of leadership in the country. Super Patriots and Morons raises universal questions about the nature of leadership, the need for accountability and transparency in political systems. The play imagines the success of a carefully imagined and executed indigenization policy, which genuinely assists Zimbabwean businesses. It imagines a successful agricultural and land reform policy, which provides food enough for the country and the region. It asks why we have squandered our diamond resources and failed to sustainably exploit our platinum, gold and uranium. And it looks for a political system in which diversity of political opinion strengthens rather than factionalises the parties, and in which there is no need to hide behind the tinted windows of a bulletproof Mercedes.
Rooftop Promotions producer, Daves Guzha says that by staging Super Patriots and Morons as the first play, Theatre in the Park is making a bold statement about our vision for the space. This will be a space in which the people of Zimbabwe can engage each other in the debates raised by our socially and politically conscious performance. We want to open discussions and facilitate the connections between the citizens, the artists, and the policy-makers.
The play will run for two nights only â€“ from Wednesday 6th April to 7th April. Tickets are $3, and are available from our office in the new Theatre in the Park, or at the door. The new theatre is in the Harare Gardens, near the corner of Herbert Chitepo and Leopold Takawira, opposite the US Embassy. Bookings can be made by calling 0772 694 773 or 0772 913 071.