Theatre for the deaf hits arts festival

2016-07-06 06:00
GALETSHWANE MALEBO, alias Gali.

GALETSHWANE MALEBO, alias Gali.

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A THEATRE production called Local-S-Lekker is a sign of things to come for the hearing impaired. It will be an attraction at the Vrystaat Arts Festival from 11 to 16 July. This is the first time theatre for the deaf is featured, showcasing talent and offering a platform in the field of art. It is produced by Galetshwane Malebo, alias Gali, who says the name Local-S-Lekker is from the cast being predominantly an ensemble of deaf performers, all of whom are from Bloemfontein.

“While studying drama at the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2008, I got inquisitive as to why there were no production featuring deaf people. It happened after meeting deaf students on campus. The only hearing-impaired actor I remember is the popular Simphiwe Mkhize, who featured in Muvhango as Kuki,” says Malebo.

She immediately began the spadework to produce the stage play, which was first produced on the UFS campus during Deaf Awareness Month in September 2009.

The play hit the big stage last year when performed at Pacofs in Bloemfontein.

“This is a history-making moment for the cast of Local-S-Lekker and for me as the director. We use Sign Language and English for our narratives; therefore all our audience members are able to follow the story as we tackle HIV issues within the lives of the deaf community at large,” said Malebo.

She uses Sign Language students and Drama students of the UFS as voice artists.

The play will be performed at the Bloemfontein Civic Centre on 13 July at 15:00 and 14 July at 13:00. Tickets are available at R80.

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