Monday, March 10, 2008

Drama, drama, drama

A drama group in town found out that I have a theater background, so I was invited to teach a workshop Saturday morning. I was asked to focus on character development and introduce creative costume/prop use. About 25 young people between the ages of 15 and 20 showed up at this little nursery school where we had a fantastic 3 hours together. At the end I had them improvise some scenes and I loved the unique characters from “the village” that they created out of nowhere. I encouraged them to tell Zambian stories, the traditional stories that are a part of their lives that they often take for granted. This is such a culturally and artistically rich country. NO NEED TO MIMIC WESTERN ACTORS AND STORYTELLING! I hope to attend one of their performances in April.By the way, just went home to get a coke and a young man about age 15, baseball cap in hand, knocked on the door in search of work. This kills me. This sweet kid had the courage to knock on the door of a complete stranger in the hope he could do a little work for a meal. My Zambian friend Charity and I watched him walk away, disappointed, and together we lamented the sorry state of Zambia. I love this country, but the economy is a disaster. I recently heard that of the 7 million able-bodied adults, only 700,000 are employed. That means 90% of Zambia is unemployed. Granted, many of these people have small farms or businesses selling goods at market, but the earnings are meager. Aargh.

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