Prize of Hope

The Prize of Hope 2022 goes to the Zimbabwe Theatre Academy and founder Lloyd Nyikadzino.

Dell’Arte International & Institut for Popular Theater invite you to the Prize of hope at Dell’Arte in Blue Lake California on june 25, 2022 as part of the Dell’Arte Baduwa summer Series.

The Prize of Hope will be given to a person or a theatre who has worked for human hope; daring, loving, vulgar, serious, poetic and always with sparkling energy against conventional thinking, which is the gravest threat to our cultures: For a world where people use their own eyes, ears and voices.

The Prize of Hope is an international award and has been given in Denmark since 1989 and in the US since 2008. The prize is given every second year at Aasen Theatre and every other year in the US at Dell’Arte International Theater in Northern California. The vision of The Prize of Hope is to promote a living, vital, sharp and innovative popular art.

Young African Theater: As so often, the greatest hope arises where those with a dark world view least expect it.
Lloyd Nyikadzino is one of the young people in African theater. He is the founder and director of the Zimbabwe Theater Academy in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe Theater Academy is a young theater school in physical theater, founded in 2017, which uses theater as a tool to change the life situation of disadvantaged young people. Each year, the school admits 15 young students and provides them with professional training in physical theater.

Regarding the work with bodily theater, Lloyd Nyikadzino says: “I love physical theater because it is a theatrical expression that helps me to unfold the story or drama primarily through physical means. You can express yourself by using your body. Especially in the environment I operate in, any misquoted word can get you in trouble with the authorities. With physical theater, I can tell the story with my body by allegorical means. ”

It is precisely this power that Lloyd Nyikadzino, as director, has refined with the play, Zandezi. Zandezi is a slang term for prison, and the performance was created on the basis of a systematic work that the Zimbabwe Theater Academy has carried out with inmates in a prison in Harare.

With the performance Zandezi, Lloyd Nyikadzino has created a daring and astonishing play. Two actors explore with song, movement, situations and numerous role changes the issue of justice in the prison system in Zimbabwe, and the life that follows for former convicts: Is a prison a rehabilitation center?
Or, on the contrary, are hardcore criminals being created out of perhaps innocent inmates in Zimbabwe's prisons?
The performance with two young actors was so successful that Zandezi received the award as the performance of the year at the National Merit Awards in Zimbabwe in 2019.

Success and awards have followed outside Zimbabwe, and in the early summer of 22 awaits a tour of the United States with a premiere in Washington DC. The play will also be performed on the west coast and not least in connection with the awarding of the Prize of Hope in Blue Lake, California on 25th of June.

The play Zandezi is a good example of the hope that young actors experience through Lloyd Nyikadzino's work in the Zimbabwe Theater Academy.

One of the two actors in the show - Kheke - is orphaned, raised by his big sisters - and raised in a ghetto in Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo. Kheke is, of course, proud of his success in acting. Kheke's plan is to create and build a theater in her hometown, Bulawayo.

Africa is indeed a continent of youth with half its population below 25 *. Lloyd Nyikadzino and his comrades at the Zimbabwe Theater Academy show us that there is plenty of vibrant power on this great adventurous continent. People who dream to, want to, and are able to tell the important stories of the present and the future: As so often, the greatest hope arises, where those with a dark view of the world would least expect it. Congratulations to Lloyd Nyikadzino and the Zimbabwe Theater Academy with the 2022 Prize of Hope.

Institut for Folkeligt Teater** og Dell’Arte International.
Lars Olsen                                                                         Birthe Rosenfeldt          


*) according to UN, more than half of the population in Africa are young people below 25
**) The award committee in Denmark also includes: Moqi Simon Trolin, chairman, stage director, Allan Helge Jensen, actor, Lotte Augustesen, journalist, Marie Knud-sen-Fogh, actor, Marie Tourell Søderberg, actor, Jeppe Groot, advisor, Selma, Nanna, Helga Rosenfeldt-Olsen, author, artist, actor, Klaus Tams, mask maker.

Prize of Hope for a living, popular theatre.

31. Zimbabwe Theater Academy and Lloyd Nyikadzino 2022, Harare, Zimbabwe.
They lead the way with young physical theatre in Africa.

30.  Aprilfestival, Denmark 2021.
The world's largest theatre festival for children and young people

29.  Kitt Johnson, X-act Copenhagen, Denmark 2019
Kitt Johnson is a shaman of our time.

28. UNIVERSES Theater Company 2018, New York, USA.
They are a source of change, a continuing struggle for equality on the theater scene in the United States.

27. C:NTACT & Henrik Hartmann 2017. Frederiksberg, Denmark.
C:NTACT creates intercultural encounters between people who otherwise would not have met: Every person carries a hope and a wish to succeed.

26. Cornerstone Theater Company 2016. Los Angeles, USA,
Cornerstone Theater Company creates theater art, which brings people together regardless of race or background.

25. Théâtre du Solei & Ariane Mnouchkine 2015. “La Cartoucherie”, Paris, France.
For 50 years, as an independent theatre collective, to have shared life, work and art, and together created a world class popular theatre.

24.  Clowns Without Borders 2014. Bringing joy and hope to needy children in the shadow of war.

23. Christian Lollike 2013. Dramatist. Copenhagen, Denmark. For a radical reinterpretation of popular theatre with taboo as the means and dialogue as the aim.

22. Geoff & Dan Hoyle 2012, San Francisco, USA. Individually, they are amazing performers and as father and son, they are a multi-generational force for good.  
21. Eugenio Barba and The Odin Theatre 2011, Holstebro, Denmark. They have created an important contribution to the cultural heritage of the world and have been a cornerstone in Danish and Nordic theatre for almost half a century. 
20. David Simpson, Jane Lapiner and Human Nature 2010, Petrolia, USA, received the Prize of Hope 2010. They have created original theatre pieces about significant environmental and climate change.

19. Suzanne Osten, Unga Klara 2009, Stockholm, Sweden, received the Prize of Hope 2009 because she has worked with theatre from the perspective of the child and other vulnerable groups all her life. She is part of the reason that Scandinavian children's and youth theatre is amongst the best in the world.

18. Tim Robbins and The Actors' Gang 2008, Los Angeles, USA, received the Prize of Hope 2008 for leaning into the wind with their combination of contemporary immediacy, public engagement and great theatrical craft created with a profound hope for changing the course of life for better. The event was hosted by Dell'Arte International in Blue Lake, California on June 21. 

17. Set designer Poul Fly Plejdrup 2007, Odder, Denmark, for his magical open theatre. The open theatre is the space of living theatre and the theatre of hope.

16.  Dell’ Arte International 2005, Blue Lake, USA. They have created a physical theatre school of an international standard in the far North of California's Redwood district, which attracts students from all over the world.  

15. Finn Hesselager 2004, Nørre Snede, Denmark. For his significant contribution to the development of  Danish theatre, television and film, through his teaching of an entire generation of Danish actors.

14. Bådteatret (The Boat Theatre) The Prize of Hope 2003 went to Bådteatret, with its three brave captains Tue Biering, Rolf Heim and Emil Korf-Hansen 2003 because they insist on performing. In spite of financial cuts, they continue to perform political theatre in the spirit of our era.

13. Helle Ryslinge 2002, film director, Copenhagen, Denmark. For pioneering work within Danish film, uncovering societal taboos with her microscopic attention to detail. 

12. Klaus Hoffmeyer 2001, Artistic Director at the Royal Theatre Copenhagen, Denmark. For keeping his core intact whether on the student scene or at the Royal Theatre of Denmark.

11. Åsa Simma 2000, Sámi theatre and film, Sápmi. Through her art, she awakens resources hidden in the rituals and images of the ancient mountains of Sámi culture.

10. Randi Patterson 1999, Living Movement & Nyt Dansk Danseteater, Copenhagen. Founder and pioneer of modern dance in Denmark.

9. Chris Torch 1998. Intercult, Stockholm, Sweden. Founder of Earth Circus & Shikaste. A pioneer in intercultural scenic art in Sweden, the Nordic countries and Europe.

8. Grenland Friteater 1997, Porsgrunn, Norway. For twenty years of pioneering work in group theatre in Norway - in a continuous search for identity in modern post-war Norway.

7. Hans Rønne 1996. Teatret, Odder, Danmark. For his solo performances as a distinguished landmark of Danish children's and youth theatre in the year of the cultural city.

6. Hans Hellberg 1995. Narren, Stokholm. Sweden. Founder of group theatre in the Nordic countries and its first important architect.

5. Arne Aabenhus & Asger Hulgaard 1994. Dansk Amatør Teater Samvirke. Founder and creator of Dansk Amatør Teater Samvirke (Danish Amateur Theatre Cooperation) for many years.

4. Iben Nagel Rasmussen 1992. Odin Theatre, Holstebro, Denmark. For being a pioneer of new acting in Denmark and for the performance ITSI BITSI.

3. Tage Hind 1991. Institut for Dramaturgi, Aarhus University, Denmark. For being a pioneer in the establishment of a new vision of theatre and founder of Institut for Dramaturgi at the University of Aarhus.

2. Aleksander Jochwed 1990. Theatre workshop Den Blå Hest, Aarhus, Denmark. Because the theatre breaks down barriers in the mind and between the East and the West.

1. Trevor Davies 1989. Festival of Fools, Copenhagen, Denmark, for creating a popular space for theatre and the Festival of Fools, as a cultural mediator and force to be reckoned with.