The Cape Town-based International Theater for Africa, in collaboration with world acclaimed author, Alexander McCall Smith, and a local theater production company, Showtime Theater Company, are working around the clock to bring Makgadikgadi Pans to Gaborone, at the No. 1 Ladies Opera House through their upcoming, breathtaking play entitled Flamingos of The Makgadikgadi.
The play is part and parcel of a chain of all year round plays , which have theater lovers’ excitement mounting in expectation for the plays, which shall be staged at the No. 1 Ladies Opera House in Kgale.
The 50-seater theater, sponsored by the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series author, Alexander McCall Smith, is at an advanced renovation stage. The opera house hosted the Okavango Macbeth Opera last year.
The first piece of the theater series will showcase on the 10th of March.
The writer and director of the piece, University of Cape Town Theater honours degree graduate, Luke Ellenborgen, said, through the play, he intends to tell a story about the beauty of the Makgadikgadi Flamingos, which holds the world record in numbers.
He said through the physical mime piece, which features an all out local talent, he wanted Batswana to tell a silent story about Botswana’s wildlife beauty in Makgadikgadi.
Kabelo Ramaselwana, the Director of Showtime Theater who has been in theater for 25 years, said they have collaborated with Theater For Africa because they have two different unique talents, with Theater for Africa concentrating on Animal and Wildlife, while they focus on the edutainment aspect of theater.
The two jointly produced international pieces, A Light in The Night of President Khaya Africa, and Beef for Buffalo, which toured parts of Africa and Europe.
He said the first play, Flamingos of The Makgadikgadi, teaches people to love, protect and treasure the flamingoes in an engaging, family-friendly way.
The young director, however, lamented the frustrating response from Batswana towards theater. He said Batswana should appreciate theater as a refreshing, recreational and educating activity. Ramaselwana blamed nonprofit making society theaters for killing the spirit of competent quality plays.
However he commended President Ian Khama for investing in the Arts, saying that had empowered a lot of the youth.
The next play in April, after Flamingos of Makgadikgadi will be the hit comedy from Cape Town, SLIPS, starring Nicholas Ellenbogen and Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, followed by another local production featuring two local acts entitled Cattle Drive.
Cattle Drive is a story of young Batswana men driving cattle from Ghanzi to Lobatse. The story is set in the 1960s when cattle were driven to abattoirs on foot and a series of fire side stories and songs feature greatly in the play.