Featured, Theatre & Comedy

An uprising of women – a staged reading of world-famous play in Harare

: A production of ‘Widows’ in South Korea. PHOTO: SUNG-HAWN SHIN

When all the men of a country village are taken away by the state machinery, accused of being part of a rebellion, the women come together and create a movement of resistance of their own. This is the storyline of Ariel Dorfman’s 1981 novel, ‘Widows,’ which was later on turned into a play.

Set in Nazi-occupied Greece in 1941-42, the story could be true of any other oppressive military dictatorship.

Almasi Collaborative Arts will July 29, 2017 (2pm) stage a reading of this play at the Zimbabwe German Society. Directed by Elizabeth Zaza Muchemwa, the reading will feature new and experienced actors.

The Argentine-Chilean-American writer Dorfman, wrote his  play in collaboration with playwright Tony Kushner (the author of Angels in America). A brutal conflict has come to an end, with the ruling class victorious and the military in firm control.

In a country village women await news of the dozens of men taken captive by the army, supposedly for being involved in the rebellion or for holding dissident views. Through the bold act of one woman, the village’s women find their collective strength to raise their voices against a status quo suppressing truth.

The play raises the question; how can peace be kept when a reconciliation process has not been done? It paints an eloquent picture of how humanity is lost through acts of war and aggression and, the old time story of how in post conflict eras women are the ones left to piece together lives torn apart by war.

The Staged Reading of Widows by Ariel Dorfman is part of Almasi’s staged reading series. The staged readings are designed to advance dramatic literacy in the community.

According to Muchemwa, “Almasi’s  goal is to facilitate excellent new Zimbabwean works, works that can compete on a global level and leave behind a Zimbabwean dramatic literary legacy. Staged readings also nurture dramaturgy which allows for the portrayal to be rich, resonant and specific to the placement of the play in time, space and moment in history.”

The readings are free and open to the public.


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