Theatre In The Time Of A Pandemic- Cycle Interrupted At The National Theatre

The National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) Backstage Theatre will, on 11 November, 18h30 officially open Cycle Interrupted–an interdisciplinary installation geared towards introducing alternative ways of experiencing the conventional theatre space with experimental performance artists and technical creatives.

Created toward examining ‘How the cycles of life were interrupted during 2020 and what that possibly means to society’, Light Designer and Technician, Gillroy Barmann said Namibia is invited to experience Cycle Interrupted and be part of an installation art aims to stimulate more than the visual sense.

“I have learnt something new every day in creating a piece that presents fun and magical moments of smell, taste, touch and visuals through the combination of digital technology with performance art,” he said.

Performers in the Creative Design Lab include Mel Mwevi, Angelina Akawa and West Uarije.

Creatives rehearsing Cycle Interrupted (WillemVrey/GoetheInstitut/NTN)

A joint project between the Goethe-Institut Namibia, Creative Design Lab, earlier this year held an open call from which 7 performance artists were selected to collaborate with a contracted technical director, performance curator and stage manager to amongst others, discuss and rethink the conventional theatre space that has potential to expand into the live and digital arts scene of Namibia.

Nelagoh Shilongoh, Artistic Director at the NTN, said the Creative Design Lab was designed to provide young and creative professionals the opportunity to discuss, rethink, and exchange ideas towards newer developments for live arts in the city.

“The theatre and performance sectors in Namibia have been presented with genres including music concerts, dramatic plays and stand-up performances, while the live-art and digital design spaces are yet to be explored expansively. We hope to bridge the gap between the historically conventional NTN space and the live-art sector in the city of Windhoek. There is a great potential in breathing newer ideas into the Namibian live arts scene with interdisciplinary collaborative efforts, relevant socio-economic themes and pioneering design and performance work,” she said.

Goethe-Institut Namibia Cultural Programmes, Michelle Namases, said the Creative Design Lab could not have been held at a better time for it to counteract the uncertainties and chaos imposed upon Namibian creatives who were depending on their practices while maintaining the industry.

“The Creative Design Lab creatives bring to the table their own style and approach to the creative work, which will form what I believe to be something unique to the local arts and culture scene,” she said.

Namases says the Goethe-Institut Namibia is looking forward to further collaborations with the NTN.

“We want to enrich and strengthen the arts and cultural scene in Namibia for the professions to receive not only local but also regional and international recognition,” she said.

Cycle Interrupted took place from 12 to 16 November at the NTN Backstage Theatre.