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Friday, August 10, 2012

Reps reporter

Although there is still a late chill, things are starting to warm up – especially at Reps!
Miscellany of shows this month
August brings variety to the Reps Main Stage, with a number of short-run productions that will appeal to a range of audiences. The Dominican Convent/St George’s College production of Ipi n’Tombi, run at the schools in May, has been brought to a wider audience with a run at Reps this weekend – three performances only: Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. Sales have been good but a quick call to The Spotlight will reveal if there are seats available for the performance you wish to attend.  The Mashonaland Bodybuilding Championships will be held on Saturday August 18 (6pm) while Dudu Manhenga, one of this country’s finest singers, will run a show on Friday August 24 and possibly also Saturday August 25. Reps will stage a show featuring songs from screen and stage musicals called The Way We Were on August 31 (7pm) and September 1 (2.30pm and 7pm). This will feature Mande Snyman, Dean Jones, Collina Mvududu, David Bvumbe, Luke Ballantyne, Faith Ganyau, Christina Jenkins, Stephane Thomas, Cara Amm and Munyaradzi Guramatunhu and show songs included range from Mary Poppins to Jesus Christ superstar and The King and I to My Fair Lady. Seats for all these shows can be booked at The Spotlight (call 308159).
Repteens and Preps take a break
David Bvumbe and Faith Ganyau have had a busy term with Preps on Saturday mornings, and ended their ‘season’ with a performance starring many of the regulars who have been in attendance. Preps is for the under-12s and is both great fun and a good training ground for would-be stage stars of tomorrow. It will resume classes mid-morning on Saturday September 15. Repteens, being co-ordinated by Kyla Render, is also on a school holiday break and is planning for a Theatre Upstairs presentation at the end of the next term. Numbers of youngsters attending has been good and activity both varied and worthwhile this past term. Repteens is for the 13-19 age group and starts again on the evening of Friday September 14.
Social events aplenty
Sadly for us all, Jenni Ferguson decided to step down from both Exco and the bar management and social events committee in July, but leaves a legacy of great things in the bar and in the social events arena – thank you, Jenni! Coming up in social events this month are Faith Ganyau live in the bar on Friday August 17 and our monthly quiz, this time an evening one at 6.30pm on Tuesday August 21. Plans are being made for Dudu Manhenga to sing in September and for The Irish Band to entertain in the same month, both well worth looking forward to. Starting Friday August 10 there will be curry and rice available in the bar as an evening treat at a reasonable price. If this works it will become a regular feature. Don’t forget the happy hour and members’ bar draw every Friday evening, too.
In rehearsal
Shows in rehearsal at the moment include Julius Caesar, directed by John Dennison and scheduled to run September 13 to 22, and Hairspray, the gala musical extravaganza scheduled to run October 4 to 20, directed by Zane E Lucas. Coming up later in the year is the 2012 panto, Peter Pan, which Graham Crutchley will direct and for which there will be auditions in September. Also planned for September/October is an open audition, to see what acting talent there is in Harare, so that we can build up our database of actors, actresses, singers and dancers for shows coming up in 2012and 2013. Keep watching for information on all these events.
Front of House teams needed
We need to build up the number of people available to work in the auditoriums of both theatres in a front of house capacity, so if you would like to find out more or volunteer, please contact Stan Higgins ( and let him know. You could be added to an existing team or form the core of a new team, and if you have friends and family to bring along for this, all the better. A training session will be held soon for this important activity, without which shows could not be staged at all.
Reprobates restarted on August 2, and will now be run every Thursday at 6.30pm. This is for anyone over the age of 20, members and potential members alike.  Here's an opportunity for people who want to learn about the ins and outs of being involved in the theatre, without being under the pressure of taking part in a formal audition. Older Repteens should feel free join the Reprobates  -come on in and test the waters - the more the merrier.
Kitty news
After having successfully had our two adopted cats neutered and vaccinated, the older one, a male, has disappeared. He was a friendly chap whom we think may have been adopted by someone else; if so, great, but please let us know he is safe. The younger one, a female – named Millie by Philippa in the Reps office – has stayed on and although a little shy has been getting friendlier and likes to interact with the folk working on stage, especially when they give her some milk as a treat! Thank you to the folk who continue to give Philippa cat food to help us supplement Millie’s rat-catching activities – more donations of food are welcome.
Cleaning up the area
The Belgravia Shopping Centre Owners’ and Tenants’ Association will this Saturday run a clean-up of the area around the centre and members and friends of Reps are encouraged to join in the effort, especially as it helps Reps. It will run from 8am to 12 noon and people meet at the ZRP Police Post in front of the theatre at 8am sharp for a briefing and deployment. If you can come or send staff, and bring along wheelbarrows, tools and brooms/brushes, this would be a great help. There’s always loads to clear up, unfortunately, the result of people these days being hopelessly destructive with throw-away rubbish. The clean-up also tries to get people to be aware of what to do with rubbish (ie put it into a bin or take it home and do so there!) but this task is a big one and needs a firmer hand than the BSCOTA team’s.
Technical training coming
Plans are being laid for training for people who are interested in the technical aspects of theatre, and whose skills are sorely needed to boost numbers available to work backstage on shows. Stage Director PJ Smyth will be preparing something soon and in the meantime please let him know through the Reps office is you are interested in working in any of these areas: sound, lighting, stage crew, flies, set design and decorating, costumes and stage properties. Numbers are few and more people are needed, so no matter your level of experience – from nothing to lots – please let us know and get in on the act.
Did you know …
… that the Reps Wardrobe is the best place in town for costume hire? It most certainly is and is open for visitors to check out what’s available Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 6pm. Collina Mvududu and her team will welcome you and look forward to being of service. Spread the word and let everyone know.
Until next time
Keep well

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