The UCT Drama Department are proud to be co-convenors of the academic programmes for the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network (ITYARN) Conference, and the ‘Cradle of Creativity’, 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival – the first of its kind on African soil.
The UCT Drama Department is proud to present our nine Fourth Year Theatre-Makers’ adaptations of nine African short stories as they attempt to explore the manifold experiences of becoming in contemporary Africa,
Adapted from Aeschylus’ great tragedy, Berkoff’s version of Agamemnon is about revenge, heat and battle, fatigue, the marathon, the obscenity of modern and future wars, dislocation and the abandonment of love in a thankless and unyielding world. It is also about the body, its pleasures and pains, and the power of desire.
Elaborating on his method of collage, Francesco Nassimbeni weaves drama, design, music and poetry to produce pieces that have been variously described as ‘tone poems’, ‘visual music’ and ‘theatrical mood-boards’. “All of it, Everything, Now, Together” concludes his study on visuality in performance at UCT and is an experiment in how graphic design can express itself through the medium of performance. This project is the culmination of his MA research.
UCT Drama students once again contributed to the overwhelming success of the annual Clanwilliam Arts Project, co-ordinated by the Magnet Theatre. The Clanwilliam Arts Project includes archaeology, education, art and drama and is aimed at returning the heritage of the Clanwilliam area to the community. “The parade begins at dusk. The local band leads the children, carrying figures and puppets and candle powered lanterns, wearing masks and helmets through the township.
The 2016 graduating class of theatre makers have interpreted the works of playwrights such as Athol Fugard and Caryl Churchill.
The six works were performed over the course of four evenings from 24 to 27 August at the Arena Theatre on UCT’s Hiddingh campus.
The Binge theatre platform is two evenings of 25 minute extracts from well written plays that showcase our Fourth Year Performing students in the UCT Drama Department. Binge theatre gives students an opportunity to explore material and lead characters of their choice in brief concentrated showcases.
The Drama Department cannot describe how proud we are of all of our 2015 graduates. Despite the challenges of 2015, our senior students managed to pull throw, and we were extremely well represented in the June 2016 graduation ceremonies. We look forward to watching these young South Africans blossom as they forge the careers they have trained so hard for over the past few years.
A short film by third-year UCT film student Jessie Zinn, featuring both current UCT Drama students and recent Graduates, showed at Cannes after making waves on the international film festival circuit
The annual creative pilgrimage to the National Arts Festival is fast approaching, where thousands of artists descend upon South Africa’s largest arts festival in the small settler town of Grahamstown. A staple of the festival is the Student Theatre Programme, in which student artists and representatives from theatre schools and learning institutes across the country come together to showcase new work. The student theatre at the festival has gone on to propel many young artists into the professional industry. Last year the production from UCT, “Don’t Shoot the Harbinger”, which was directed by then UCT final year student Kei-Ella Loewe, was awarded with ‘Best Script’ in the National Arts Festival Student Theatre Programme, which was written by then UCT final year students Katya Mendelson, Ameera Conrad, and Thando Mangcu. This year the theatre-making students will be showcasing their new collaborative and devised work “Figs” at the festival, but not without challenge.
UCT Drama Department prides itself on producing numerous productions throughout the year. From intimate offerings and excerpts to fully-fledged and lengthy shows of varying styles, these dynamic experiences and processes provide the opportunity to apply what has been learnt in the lecture hall to the real theatre environment. Thus far in 2016 UCT Drama Department has produced the devised musical “Railroad Angels”, directed by international theatre practitioner Tober Riley, and Shakespeare’s “All’s well that ends well”, directed by head of department Geoffrey Hyland. Recently the theatre-makers showcased their works based on adaptations of a variety of short stories. Having just premiered is “Langalibalele – the scorching sun”, written by Neil McCarthy and directed by Clare Stopford, and “Portret”, by Philip Rademeyer and directed by Amy Jephta – both involving the third and fourth year acting and theatre-making students.
After the success of 2015’s Barney Simon Season, the UCT Drama Department will once again curate a season of plays from South Africa. The New Works Season sees senior students from the department take on two never-before-seen works by South African playwrights. The initiative responds to an ongoing need for new plays that reflect the current state of South Africa and use indigenous lenses to interpret and represent our world. New Works provides an opportunity to experience fresh new plays and for young actors to take on the challenge of interpreting new writing for contemporary audiences.