A report from Richard Finch, South Africa
Richard has long been associated with AITA/IATA,principally leading workshops with Children and young people.
The International Theatre community will be that much richer if it is able to share the dynamic culture of sub- Saharan Africa.
Dance, Drumming, storytelling is as vital to the diverse tribal groups across Africa as is the daily nourishment of maize meal.
It is thus that I, along with colleagues in Uganda and Zimbabwe have launched â€œThe Africa Initiativeâ€. We wish to promote a more visible presence of African Dance and Drama, both across Africa itself and on the International stage, with young Africans attending workshops, symposia and Festivals.
My longstanding involvement with AITA/IATA has accorded me the privilege of working with many nations and sharing the excitement of theatre, especially that presented by children and young people. Over the past few years our appetite for the rich diversity of African theatre has been whetted by groups from Uganda, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso.
We now want to experience more of these African groups. The challenge is to overcome financial and geographical constraints and to raise the profile of the excellence of African Dance and Drama.
We are determined that 2013 will see a major Festival of Young Peopleâ€™s Theatre, hopefully in Cape Town. Discussions are also taking place at Makere University in Kampala, Uganda.
The spark is about to ignite and the vibrant fires of African dance, drumming and storytelling will illuminate more Festivals around the world.