Harare, March 3rd 2016 | Kudzai Sevenzo
My stay in New York has been so very rewarding and eye opening. Despite the fact that I left an intense heat wave in Harare to be welcomed by a blizzard in New York, I think I have adjusted pretty well to the weather! Soon after I arrived in New York, I met my acting coach, Susan, in person. I had my first couple of lessons with her on Skype, as she began assisting me long distance in preparation for my grad school monologues. I chose Eve Ensler’s Necessary Targets, as well as Othello, Macbeth and later, thanks to Danai, a much needed 4th monologue by Suzi Lori Parks: Venus. The final monologue helped me to show a lot more of my capabilities as an actor. I participated in 8 auditions as well as the regional Satellite auditions. I went on to receive 3 offer letters (E15 in the U.K, New York Film Academy, and Stella Adler). I have also received follow-ups and strong interest from 3 other schools who’ve yet to give me their final decisions.
During my time here I was introduced to a fantastic organisation called Girl Be Heard, which seeks to make the voice of the girl be heard globally. The organisation is showcasing a play in Trinidad and Tobago that focuses on the 15 billion dollar sex trafficking industry that affects young women all over the world.
I have also been introduced to the Public Theater, and before I leave, I will meet various people in different departments who will explain how the whole system works to create and select compelling and relevant theatre for New York’s Public Theater.
I have thoroughly enjoyed being in the rehearsal room for Danai’s play “Familiar,” in which I get to see committed, and professional actors take on their characters and their character’s flaws truthfully. It has been particularly exciting to see how with each night of the previews after director and playwrights notes have been noted by actors and team, the play begins to undergo a very powerful transformation in front of a live audience.
“Eclipsed” on Broadway was one of my highlights too, as was seeing how the actors are so committed to their roles and have allowed themselves to go deeper and deeper into their roles with each night’s performance.
I return to teach speech and drama at a local preparatory school in Harare. In May, I embark on a 3 week tour of Germany in a production called “Water Games” which features other Zimbabwean actors. In this production, I intend to put to practice all I have learnt during my time here in the U.S.A. I have been truly been inspired. As I wait for results from my auditions and interviews, I want to thank Almasi from the bottom of my heart for allowing me this wonderful opportunity to be re-energised as an artist, as well as inspired and challenged that indeed as African people we CAN tell our own stories on the world stage, and tell them WELL!