Wednesday, October 27, 2021

New play to explore sensitive topics

A play titled Easily Broken is set to be staged on June 1st in Francistown at a venue yet to be announced. Penned by up and coming Director, Tlhalefang Mokibe, the play is told through the eyes of a young Motswana and includes an array of sensitive themes such as abortion, xenophobia, suicide amongst many others.

Speaking to Arts & Society, Mokibe says “Since our society has become hyper sensitive, Easily Broken is an experimental piece that combines storytelling and physical theatre to address issues that most people would normally shy away from.”

Mokibe, however, admits that since the new play addresses sensitive issues it might receive mixed reviews and possibly severe criticism. “Since this is uncharted territory especially in our sensitive Setswana culture, what I try to do in this play is to mix taboo topics such as abortion, xenophobia in one pan and then serve with style by this talented and lively cast.”

One of the actors who refused to be identified until the play is staged says “Mastery of the craft is the only formula for a successful filmmaking career. The play proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the director has mastered that concept as he takes the audience into a world of sensitive but interesting topics.”

Easily Broken takes audiences from Botswana to Namibia and back. The play is about a young lady Michelle who visits her ailing mother in Namibia. However when she arrives she discovers that her mother’s neighbourhood is up in flames, with xenophobia at its zenith. She also finds that her eighteen year old sister has run away from home after being raped by her father. Although she managed to trace her sister, circumstances have taken a toll on her sister who ends up taking her own life.

Mokibe also says this play is not just about storytelling but coming up with ways to resolve some of the most taboo topics which are having a significant impact on family values in Botswana. ”As directors, how we bring out certain societal topics has a huge impact on whether people will be open to our feedback,” he says.

He also says suicide and xenophobia are issues which Botswana must actively and urgently address as they are increasingly affecting families and society.

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