(Featured Image: Ashande Photography)
Public Relations Officer at the National Theatre of Namibia, Desiree Mentor answers frequently asked questions about the institution. Thank me later:
Who pays for the productions?
NTN in most cases funds its own productions/projects, and in some instances with assistance of sponsorships from corporates.
How are the plays selected?
All projects are collected through a call for submission of scripts (usually done towards the end of the year) and a panel of judges are in place to help choose plays based on the set criterion. The criterion among other things include, story-line, relevancy of the story, well-formed characters, good use of language and entertainment value etc.
Do you have a set number of plays staged every year?
It Depends on the scripts received and also whether there are sufficient budgetary provisions.
For 2018, how many plays has NTN staged so far and how many more are coming for 2018?
NTN staged two plays so far, and still have about three more to stage in this year.
Where can information on Auditions/Current shows be found?
Audition notices are mostly done through our social media platforms ( Facebook, Twitter, Instragram) and the website (which is currently under construction). We would also print posters and distribute through town, and mainly places such as the College of the Arts, UNAM Drama department etc.
NTN Tickets can only be bought via Computicket. Why?
Yes, NTN is a Computicket outlet, which means tickets for all our productions area available online, and nationwide at all shoprite/checkers outlets, which makes it accessible for everyone national and internationally. Also this way, we are able to avoid fraudulent activities.
Can an audience member take photos in the theater before, during or after a performance?
Audiences are in most cases welcome to take pictures, before and after a performance. In order for any audience member to take pictures during a performance, it can only be done so with written permission from the producers of the particular show. This is done in most cases to help protect the artists’ intellectual property. In the event permission is granted it is highly recommended (almost mandatory) that it is done so, without flash. Flash photography can distract, or even temporarily blind the performers and crew. The experience of attending theatre begins the moment you walk into the auditorium.
What is the National Theatre’s most successful show, to date?
The Theatre hosted many many shows, nationally and internationally throughout the years, perhaps I can mention the most memorable one, in my time with the theatre was Trevor Noah’s stand up comedy show that had to be extended, due to public demand, for two more days after a week’s show was sold out in a few days.
What is the worst thing that’s ever gone wrong during a production?
I would not term it worse, maybe the strange pleasures of live theatre, but to share one incident I witnessed during my time with the theatre: At one dance performance a few years back, the theatre roof starting leaking and a few rain drops (not life threatening) were showering on the performers….But as the saying goes… the show must go on, so the show went on!!! The roof was eventually fixed after that. This was somewhat understandable as the theatre building itself have been around for years, since November 1959, to be exact.
What are the NTN Box Office hours?
Our Box office hours, are from 08h00-14h00 and 15h00-17h00, from Monday- Friday. Although currently it is temporarily closed, until we find a replacement for our Box Office Person who resigned. Patrons can still buy tickets, online at Computicket Or at any shoprite/checkers outlet nationwide.
Are food and drinks allowed in the theatre?
No food and drinks are allowed in the theatre, except for bottled water.
What is NTN’s refund or exchange policy?
We do not do any refunds, however ticket exchanges (for only NTN productions) can be done, 14 days prior the first performance/s.
Does NTN offer discounts?
For all NTN productions, discounts are offered to children, students & pensioners).
Does NTN have any programs/workshops that encourage involvement in the theatre?
We have a lot of projects that encourage involvement in the theatre, I will highlight a few:
The main aim of this project is to develop ‘New audiences’ and provide children with new entertainment experience and space. The program also inculcates the love for arts among the children and further contributes toward life-long learning and skills development. To convey educational messages to children using a popular and comprehensive medium: “Theatre for Education” and ultimately to plant a seed for a future audience for the theatre.
This program transforms to stage grade 11 and 12 literature set work for the schools. This process enables the learners to better understand the often complicated texts of prescribed work. The productions are performed at the NTN and engage teachers in practical discussion of the content with the learners and the cast.
This is a skills development program aimed at capacity building and empowerment. The program involves identifying and developing new theatre practitioners with potential in scriptwriting, directing and acting and culminates into a production fully funded by NTN through a mentorship program that offers creative support to the participants.
The main aim of this project is to challenge experienced Namibian Theatre Practitioners with the opportunity to engage with internationally recognised stories/scripts and bring those experiences to the NTN stage for Namibian audience.
How long are the performances?
Each production normally has its own time; it can range from an hour – 3hour productions.
Does NTN offer volunteering opportunities?
Volunteering, as in you offer your services to the NTN for free, in exchange for some work experience? I am sure that can be done, however through our HR department. The NTN also offers internship opportunities to students (from the College of the Arts and other higher institutions) when there is an opportunity available, again students will have to request via our HR department at firstname.lastname@example.org
What determines NTN’s ticketing?
Prices are set internally, and a lot of things are considered, among others the cost of production.