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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Seeking an alternative approach to teaching scenographic theory and practice: the university of Zimbabwe theatre legacy
Author:Sibanda, Nkululeko
Periodical:African Performance Review (ISSN 1753-5964)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:performing arts
Abstract:The teaching of scenographic practice and theory in Zimbabwe was introduced in 1984 by Robert Mclaren (formerly Robert Mshengu Kavanagh) in the Departments of English Literature and Africa Languages. The programme is set to teach and train young black Zimbabweans in practical theatre courses so that they could replace the established white designers in the performing arts industry. Built on the premise of 'Zimbabweanization, Africanization and socialist transformation', the theatre programme sought to challenge the colonial legacy and domination of Repertory theatres and the National Theatre Organization. In this regard, the Theatre Arts programme was a postcolonial response that sought to dismantle the British theatre style while developing young trained and able technical personnel and a new Zimbabwean theatre trend conversant with the aspirations and dreams of the majority populace.Through engaging the University of Zimbabwe's thirty year static scenographic teaching methodology and theoretical approaches, this paper argues that an alternative approach is now needed to enable graduates to be relevant and positively contribute to the practice of scenography in contemporary Zimbabwe. This paper will review and challenge the founding assumptions and legacy of the University of Zimbabwe's Department of Theatre Arts's scenography pedagogy. The paper will pay particular attention to the available learning and performance spaces and influence thereof on the practice and teaching of scenography. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]