Award-winning actor and playwright Donald Molosi’s Folk Tale Theatre Company is fast becoming one of the most sought-after theatre companies and theatre consultancies.
In 2015, the company memorably staged its inaugural performance at GICC, a tailor-made theatrical production about Botswana Life’s contributions to Botswana over the past 40 years. The company also powered Molosi’s international tour late last year. Folk Tale was profiled by CNN last year for excellence in using professional theatre to tell African stories that inspire and entertain.
On April 13th and 15th, 2016 Folk Tale takes its portfolio to a whole new different level with a new play called ‘Elements’ for the annual Maitisong Festival. The play marks Molosi’s directorial debut and it will star Zanele Tumelo, Teto Mokaila, Moduduetso Lecoge and Molosi himself. “Elements was written by my friend John Sibi-Okumu whom many know for his acting roles in such Hollywood films as ‘The Constant Gardener’ and ‘The First Grader.’ I always admired his work so it is my honour to bring his work to life for a Botswana audience,” Molosi says.“It is my directorial debut and I am excited for people to see what I have done with the story as director,” he adds.He notes in a press release that everyone can relate to the struggle of being an individual in a world that is constantly trying to force everyone to be the same.
That is what the play talks about, he notes. In this play the release states, Folk Tale is consciously celebrating all those who have been called ‘misfits,’ ‘anomalies,’ ‘different,’ ‘weird’ and so on.
“We are honouring all who have been bullied and insulted for being different. As a nation, we celebrate only the people who satisfy society’s expectations, but what about people who don’t?” The release explains that ‘Elements’ tells the story of a young woman called Dana who is of mixed-race and has lived all over the world and how she negotiates the notion of belonging. According to Molosi, Folk Tale Theatre Company wants to use this play to discuss the issue of belonging and whether one should care about belonging. There are many people, young and old struggling with what it means to belong says Molosi. “With this piece, we are saying that it is okay not to belong. It is okay to be an individual. It is okay to not fit in.
Those who come to see the piece will hopefully experience a healing of sorts for themselves as well,” says Molosi. With Elements, Folk Tale is going for a more intimate audience experience. The play will be staged in a small black-box theatre unlike Molosi’s usual shows which are usually in large theatres. Molosi explains, “One of the things I enjoyed most when I first performed off-Broadway about a decade ago was the intimacy of the performance space. I could perform very close to the audience, about a metre away and audiences loved that.
That is what you will see in Elements that we are performing close to the audience so that they are not alienated from the action onstage. It is looking very good in rehearsal and in this play, Zanele Tumelo and Teto Mokaila give some of the best performances you will see in Botswana all year,” he cautions. “I advise people to get tickets early because performing in an intimate space means that there are fewer tickets to sell. We are proud to be staging this with encouragement from the Kenyan High Commission here in Gaborone,” says the talented Molosi. Tickets for ‘Elements’ are on sale for P100 at Maitisong Theatre, Maru a Pula School. Folk Tale Theatre Company is on Facebook and its twitter and Instagram handle is @folktaleTC.