The Taking Press Statement
Theatre in The Park this week brings you high riding play The Taking that looks at the intricate land reform programme in the country.
Theatre in the Park is a place to engage with complex questions. It is not simply a big auditorium where Harare audiences can enjoy performances, it is a platform for politically and socially conscious theatre, and it is a space to connect the audience with the important questions in our society.
The Taking is a reconstruction of Zimbabwean history, focusing on the fraught issue of land. Using song, dance, physical theatre, and storytelling, the play sensitively and intelligently navigates through the turbulence of the occupation and forced re-settlement of Africans in the early twentieth century, the war of liberation, and the farm invasions of the past fifteen years.
By guiding the audience through this fraught history using an experimental combination of different performance mediums, the play challenges us to re-think story-telling in a modern African society.
Raisedon Bayaâ€™s play is particularly suited to Theatre in the Park â€“ it uses creative forms of theatre to ask hard questions about our history and provoke important debates.
The play also touches on issues of censorship and the role of storytelling in modern African society.
The story is that of the widespread farm invasions that took place as from 2000 which many Zimbabweans are well versed with but an issue that many people are not comfortable discussing for fear of being victimised by those who feel they are politically correct.
Baya in the taking explores the importance of land to Zimbabweans in the economy and inheritance of the locals therefore the importance of talking about it
The Taking is a piece to watch and has almost everything one looks for in theatre.
The Taking premiered at the Bulawayo in 2015, where it was highly praised by audiences and critics.
This week, The Taking will be performed in Harare for the first time. The play will run from the 21 to the 23 of April 2016 at Theatre in the Parkâ€™s new venue in the Harare Gardens (on the corner of Leopold Takawira and Herbert Chitepo, opposite the US Embassy). Tickets are $3, Artists $1, Students $1 and can be reserved in advance at our on-site box office, or purchased at the door.
This performance of Raisedon Bayaâ€™s play is directed by Memory Kumbota. The cast is an impressive ensemble of experienced Zimbabwean actors â€“ Zenzo Nyathi, Gift Chakuvinga, Aleck Zulu, Elton Sibanda, and Musa Sibanda.
Veteran Theatre in the Park audiences will recognise and applaud these names.
Theatre is not a medium to be passively consumed, it is a means of raising issues and generating debate. Who are we as Zimbabweans? What is our history? What does it mean to be an African in the twenty-first century? How do we engage with each other? How do we engage with our history?