The Third edition of the Kenya International Theatre Festival(KITF) opens next week at Kenya National Theatre.
It has been organised by Kenyatta University and the founder of KITF, Kevin Kimani, a graduate student at the institution.
The six-day festival, which runs from November 6, will feature theatre troupes performing from all over the world, including Kenya.
On November 7-8, theatre practitioners and academics from Kenya and elsewhere will share ideas.
This year’s theme is The Paradoxes of State Aid in the Growth of Theatre in Kenya. It’s a topic that will be tackled initially by the Keynote speaker, Dr Charles Kibaya of Southeastern University in Kitui.
There will also be presentations by thespians and academics from US, Egypt and Kenya.
The Kenyans participating include thespians like Mueni Lundi of The Performance Collective, Tash Mitambo of Renegade Ventures, Eliud Abuto formerly with the Festival of Creative Arts, Keith Pearson of The Theatre Company and George Orido.
The topics they will discuss range from taking theatre to the people, unity among actors, theatre and media, puppetry and running a successful theatre company.
Despite being a six-day affair, there will hardly be breathing space to take part in discussions but also attend the plays.
On the Festival’s opening day alone, there will be six performances, one by an Egyptian troupe, one by Rwandese, another by Ugandans and three by Kenyans, one a collaboration with a Ugandan company, another a ‘collabo’ with an American university dramatising Muthoni Garland’s book, Tracing the Scent of my Mother.
Every other day will feature just one play, either from Sweden, Rwanda, Uganda or Kenya.
But on the weekend, there will be two performed on Saturday (one from South Africa) and on Sunday, the festival’s closing day, there promises to be five more productions, from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
So, theatre lovers need to leave their schedules open to attend as many new plays next week as possible.