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Almasi Collaborative Arts to Host a Staged Reading of ‘How to Defend Yourself’

Almasi Collaborative returns to the performance space with yet another catchy staged reading of the play titled ‘How to defend yourself’ which was written by Liliana Padilla and is being directed by Chelsy G Maumbe, a Zimbabwean dramatic arts practitioner.


This latest offering is going to be at Reps Theatre on Saturday the 6th of April 2024 at 14:30 and entrance will be free to all.

 ‘How to Defend Yourself’ follows the story of a sorority sister who is raped, after this unfortunate twist, College students gather for a self-defence workshop. They learn to use their bodies as weapons.

They learn to fend off attackers and in the process gather strength to reclaim the mantle of ‘not being the victim’. The process of learning self-defence becomes a vent through which they release their innermost emotions of rage, anxiety, confusion and trauma.

The upcoming staged reading holds a mirror for society to reflect upon our surrounding environments and how they can be made safe in the face of sexual assault.

According to Almasi Collaborative Arts’ Programs Coordinator, Gideon Jeph Wabvuta, “How to Defend Yourself is a powerful and poignant exploration of self-defense, consent and resilience.

It shines a light on the complexities of gender, sexuality and identity. We are pleased to present this Yale Prize for award-winning play to the Zimbabwean public. We look forward to connecting with the audiences in their experience of this explosive dramatic piece.”

A vibrant cast made up of Munashe Goromonzi, Rumbidzai Musiwa, Maya Tekie, Maxine Rigava, Panashe Gundanhamu, Tanatswa Kumirai, Nigel Chindungwe and Charlene Furusa shall be taking the audience on this dramatic journey.

Versatile creative, Chelsy G Maumbe who takes the helm of director in this production has been a part of Almasi’s development programs.

According to Zaza Muchemwa Almasi Associate Director, “This staged reading is a special one for us. It is a time where we realize another step in the development of an artist we have worked with for more than 5 years.

Ms Maumbe has taken part in many Almasi programs in different capacities from actor, and assistant stage manager to assistant director.

This time she steps into the role of director in a staged reading. We could not think of a more self-possessed and determined person to take on this incredible opportunity.”

“I am very excited that my directorial of an Almasi staged reading is ‘How to Defend Yourself by Liliana Padilla because it is a play that explores themes I am really passionate about. The issue of consent and gender disparity is glossed over in our society.

This play in particular addresses these issues in a seamless yet digestible manner,” said Chelsy G Maumbe, the director of the staged reading.

The Staged Reading of How to Defend Yourself is part of Almasi’s staged reading series which is aimed at improving dramatic literacy in Zimbabwe. The readings are FREE and open to the public to encourage audience development.

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