UKZN student wins top theatre award

2012-07-09 00:00

THE University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Cline Smith was awarded best director and writer at the 2012 Student Theatre Festival for his show Mob Feel.

Smith, a student at the Pietermaritzburg campus, has been guaranteed a place in the Fringe line-up at the 2013 National Arts Festival. The sponsored prize was made by the SA Post Office.

UCT show Homeless Orchestra won the most acclaimed production and a R10 000 cash prize, which will go towards their production at the 2013 National Student Theatre.

Judged by a panel of student theatre advisers, the award acknowledges and honours the best student director and writer in the performing artists industry. Smith will be awarded a budget to create a production with a postal theme for the 2013 Fringe line-up. The content for the production will be created in conjunction with subject matter experts from the South African Post Office.

Smith said: “I am speechless. We have put months of blood, sweat and tears into this, and I am without words. This is going to change our lives, being on the Fringe is something many performing artists dream about and never have the opportunity to experience”.

Mob Feel tells a story about gang violence and ethnic rivalry in the township of Westbury, Johannesburg, in the 1950s. The performance is a love story with violence and passion meshed with physical theatre and live music on stage.

The SA Post Office’s sponsorship has allowed for tremendous growth at the Student Festiva l and afforded a record 16 institutions from across the country the opportunity to compete against each other at the National Arts Festival. The Student Theatre Festival was one of the highlights at the National Arts Festival, with full houses and top class productions.

Lungile Lose, SA Post Office group executive for corporate affairs, said: “We hope that soon the SA Post Office will become a recognised brand associated with the arts industry. We would like to congratulate Cline Smith on his well deserved award.”

Additional awards were given in the following categories:

Best Overall Production: Homeless Orchestra by UCT

Best Ensemble: Fence by the Market Theatre Lab

Merit Award: Reclaiming Body — Reclaiming Self by UWC

Up and Coming Director: Joanna Evans from University of Cape Town.

— Witness Reporter.

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