Since inception in 2014, the Kampala International Theatre Festival, has redefined theatre as known to many. From their minimalistic productions and unlimited spaces to vast audience experiences, they have continuously curated shows that break rules while challenging narratives.
It isn’t surprising that over the years, they have happened at the National Theatre, Ndere Center, Uganda Museum and The Square Place – some of these places did not even have an auditorium to begin with.
Last year for instance, some of the performances took place in the museum’s car gallery, yet the staging did not alienate the existence of these cars, in fact, they became part of the act.
This year’s edition was launched in a press conference at the European Union this week.
The sixth edition as the past will bring together theatre makers from around the world but mostly countries that have never been represented at the festival such as Burundi, Palestine, Germany.
Under the theme, self-identity, love, and the effects of war and displacement, this year’s edition will explore new genres – from musical theatre to puppetry – to discuss the complex themes of war, displacement and self-identity.
The festival represents also a learning event for the performing arts community as it will host roundtables and writing workshops.
This year, the festival will be taking place at two different venues, Ndere Center and the Uganda Museum, a decision Karishma Bhagani, the festival’s Associate Artistic Director says is challenging but also relieving since the distance makes it production management in the two spaces easier than in a single space.
She also notes that it gives them lots of opportunities to experiment.
The festival this year starts on November 26 to 30.