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UK varsity group gives local actors stage lessons

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU — Ten students and a lecturer from the University of Sunderland in England are in the country to train local theatre groups on how best they can develop their acting skills.

The delegation arrived in the country on April 4 and will be leaving on Sunday.

The first delegation from the University of Sunderland visited Lesotho was in 2007 but they concentrated mainly on training the National University of Lesotho (NUL)’s theatre group.

This year they have managed to visit at least seven schools and a local theatre group.

The schools visited are Phethahatso English Medium, Mejemetalana Primary, Sefika High, Khubetsoana High, Methodist High, St James High, NUL and Khubetsoana Theatre Group.

The programme was facilitated by Lesotho Durham Link, a non-governmental organisation that promotes cultural and educational exchanges and aid projects in Lesotho.

Lesotho Durham Link training officer Martin Habaka told the Lesotho Times this week that the main purpose of the training is to help actors develop self-confidence and public speaking qualities.

“When the group first came to Lesotho in 2007, they stressed that our local actors lacked confidence and public speaking qualities,” Habaka said.

“It seems this is the main predicament for our local actors as they’ve already raised it even this year.”

He said the visiting group is using interactive training methods to help participants improve confidence and public speaking techniques.

“They are mostly using games to encourage participants to talk in public with confidence that is needed when acting,” he said.

 “The delegation will also allow participants to share their experiences and ideas on the role of drama in developing societies,” Habaka added.

“They will also deliberate on basic elements of drama, acting and movement.”

Habaka said drama must be used as a tool to address public issues, educate people and exchange ideas.

He said the exercise being carried out by the England delegation will help boost participants’ confidence, self-expression and social skills as well as develop creativity, artistic skills.

The delegation completes its mission by visiting the NUL drama group tomorrow.

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