Encouraging talent

2009-11-10 00:00

A NEW project, which draws on the experience of some of South Africa’s most talented performers, aims to encourage young people in the greater Pietermaritzburg area to ­develop their talents in the performing arts.

Umvithi Youth Development ­Consultants has joined forces with ­Umgungundlovu district municipality to stage the drama and film development initiative, the Pietermaritzburg Drama Indaba 2009, at the ­Winston Churchill Theatre on ­November 14 from 8 am to 6 pm.

The aim of the event is to popularise drama and film among youth and students in the local area, help them make informed decisions when it comes to choosing a career in the performing arts and to educate the wider public about drama and film.

Chief executive officer of Umvithi, Mthobisi Mkhize, said the project will be ongoing. “We plan to make it a year-long programme. Those who attend the Drama Indaba will ­also attend workshops with ­professional artists afterwards and they will have the opportunity to perform at the Winston Churchill ­Theatre.”

Asked why he believes the project was important, Mkhize said: “It gives young people the opportunity to ­develop skills in drama and film. We want to create an academy where young people can be developed.

“Our research has found that there are a lot of very talented young people in Pietermaritzburg but they are not getting the support they need to develop their talent. Our programme will, hopefully, take them off the streets and make them ­responsible for developing their ­talents.”

Mkhize added that eventually they hoped to have community theatre groups in every part of the district and that those performers would be able to make money by performing at the Winston Churchill Theatre. They are also working with the Playhouse Company in Durban and it’s hoped that some of the theatre groups will be able to perform at the Playhouse as well.

Among those who are supporting the project are singer Busi Mhlongo, actor Bantu Mqwebu, Edmund ­Mhlongo from KCAP film agency, and playwright Mbongeni Ngema, who will also be the guest speaker at the launch of the Pietermaritzburg ­Drama Indaba on November 14.

If you would like to find out more about the project, phone the hotline at 076 318 2644 or send an e-mail to info@umvithi.co.za

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