The Kampala International Theater Festival is a 4-day festival organized each year in partnership between BAYIMBA Foundation and Tebere Arts Foundation as a platform that offers development of professionalism among theater practitioners and broadens access to Theatre by supporting and facilitating the presentation of Theatre productions.

This is achieved through the various workshops, jam sessions, productions and networking sessions that are programmed during the Festival.

The 7th edition is supposed to happen in November 2020 but due to Covid19 and how fast it spreads, we have decided to postpone the physical edition until further notice. We hope that an in-person gathering for our festival can be held again in 2021.

Kemiyondo Coutinho on Tapping Emotions into a Creative Scene

By Maureen Murori

Any performance that lacks emotions is not only a waste of time for the audience but also a wasted talent for the actors (actress). That being the case, what should actors/actresses do to bring out emotions to bring a creative alive?

Kemiyondo Coutinho, a writer and performing artist observed that “all that an actor needs is to tap into past experiences; either bad or good, to bring out the right emotions.” She was speaking to a group of young and upcoming actors and actresses attending the Kampala International Theatre Festival.

Kampala International Theatre Festival kicks off Wednesday (23rd- 27th) November 2016. Preceding the festival are two days of intensive workshops on various art landscapes including, acting workshop, storytelling, and solo performance workshop, and reading workshop.

Kemi as she is commonly referred to by many noted that relating to inner emotions helps actors find a voice that is relatable to.

How does one tap into the inner energy?

The performer artist who was bared footed, either due to the heat simmering through the room or as a sign of her openness in sharing her skills, crisscrossed the room, from one actor to another touching them delicately and with so much encouragement.

“Breathe! Let out the air”! She told every couple that took to the floor to practice their new skills.

But it’s not just how one controls breathing from “toe to head” that an actor becomes great. Kemi told the young and anticipating audience that, every actor needs to internalize a script beforehand. She added that this would give the actor/actress time to identify emotions required in a particular scene or response to another actor(s).

Commenting on how actors should portray their emotions i.e. crying, Kemi clarified that an actor should not necessarily shed tears to be seen as emotional. But their tone, facial and body language should make the audience relate and feel the emotions.

To articulate love and sexual scenes better, she advised the curious audience to draw their own sexual energy from within to define their acts.

What makes actors fail in portraying emotions? Well, according to Kemi, it is “having a predefined idea of what and how the end should be.” Instead, she called on the actors to allow the words (response/reactions) of the other actor to define their next step/emotion. Personal life experiences can affect the actor’s performance if not well handled, she concluded.

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