Day 5

Today we visited Parapanda Theatre, the only successful theatre company in Tanzania, and had a Theatre for Development workshop lead by Dr. Mona, in which we did an exercise where we talked to the faculty and students and looked around the theatre department space, finding hypothetical solutions for their many real issues. It soon turned into us listing problems to the Head of the department which, one of the students during a previous interview claimed didn’t care enough or listened to them at all. Dr. Mona played us. But at the end of the day, I guess we had the privilege to come in and our words as one of the road managers, Jackson said, would go a long way. She was doing what she needed  to do to get the Head of the department to finally take action. Afterwards, we went to lunch on the campus, and I tried ugali for the first time. I ate it with fresh cut mango and avocado, and it was by far the best avocado I’ve ever had. We returned to Parapanda for a Creative Technique Workshop but instead we received, a long drawn out slideshow of the history of Parapanda from one of the founders of the department. We all felt terribly for frequently falling asleep and not being engaged the whole time, and we realized that he probably put alot of effort into the presentation,yet it was not what we were expecting. One thing I did learn was that the passion of theatre can be so strong that it conquers all with hard work; however monetary needs and government corruption can truly stifle the growth of a nation. The arts are much more necessary than people know. It’s needed for survival, intellect, community and growth. It saddens me that Parapanda Theatre never reached sustainable success but it gives me hope that it hasn’t completely died. I guess inspiration doesn’t always come from success…

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