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Beacon of hope for Malawi theatre

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While some creative industry players are reeling from financial challenges after the Cultural Support Scheme closed shop, an opportunity has arisen for the theatre industry because organisers of Ibsen funds for theatre performances have started receiving applications for financial support.

According to the website of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Malawi, NOK 2.000.000 (approximately). Euro 221.000 or USD 235.000) will be disbursed to players in the theatre industry in various countries including Malawi.

The Ibsen Scholarships were initiated by the Norwegian government in honour of Henrik Johan Ibsen— a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director and poet.

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“The Scholarships are applicable to individual artists, theatre companies, organisations and institutions,” the website indicates.

It adds that the scholarships are awarded to innovative theatre projects whose performances have not been staged before.

The other conditions are that the projects must act as incentives for critical discourse in regards to existential and society-related subject matters concerning Henrik Ibsen’s plays, so long as the applications are submitted electronically through www.ibsenawards.com.

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It will be the ninth time the scholarships, which are awarded biennially, are given out.

The deadline for the Ibsen Awards, which have so far been handed out to 29 players in theatre industries drawn from 22 countries, is April 30 this year.

In a related development, winners of the 2013 Peer Gynt Award were unveiled Thursday evening at an event dubbed ‘Evening of Malawian Literature’ in Lilongwe.

The event took place at the residence of Norway Ambassador to Malawi, Kikkan Haugen.

The event saw the unveiling of three books, namely, Azotus the Kingdom by Shadreck Chikoti, Assignment by Alick Ponje and Pilgrims Together by Jonathan Mbuna.

The Peer Gynt Award is sponsored by the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) President Sambalikagwa Mvona has, meanwhile, hailed the Royal Norwegian Embassy for supporting the creative industry.

“Royal Norwegian Embassy has been there for us and we pray that this relationship will continue to grow from strength to strength,” Mvona said.

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