Styx Mhlanga takes theatre to schools

MULTI-AWARD-WINNING playwright Styx Mhlanga has released a theatre education hand book meant to equip learners in schools and colleges.
The 100 paged book titled Acting exercises and games 2 : For drama plays in schools and colleges was edited by talented playwright cum poet Mgcini Nyoni.

Speaking to B-Metro Mhlanga who for many years has been teaching theatre in various schools and colleges in the country explained how he was prompted to produce the new product.

a�?As an arts teacher I have realised that students ask where I get information. Some would even ask me to write and document what I teach for the benefit of future students and I did just that,a�? Mhlanga said.

The award winning playwright and director said it was unfortunate that most books on theatre were from Europe making their relevance to local theatre.

He pointed out that books such as Augusto Boala��s and Viola Spolina��s were widely relied on.
a�?Their approach to local theatre is not that relevant to our local set up and as such we need our own stuff that besides also identifies with us and makes learning not only easier but interesting. Remember our approach is more of township theatre which is different from whata��s in those books,a�? Mhlanga added.

a�?Besides these foreign books are expensive for the students which means they are not affordable to most of them.a�?

Mhlanga said his abridged theatre book makes it easier for students and their teachers to write scripts and direct their own plays without any guidance.

a�?It can be used by a group facilitators for the student actors to lead the exercise. It is useful in what we call workshop theatre where one can do without a script writer or director. It trains the actor and solves different problems found in theatre,a�? he said.

The seasoned artiste said the book has been distributed to several schools.
The well-researched book is made simple through wonderful illustrations mostly from his previous plays that he directed.

This is not Mhlangaa��s first literary work. He authored Ngeke kulunge, an exciting Ndebele novel which has since been made an Aa�� Level set book for year 2014 to 2018. He is also one of the contributors to a new anthology entitled Writing Without Boundaries.