PE thespian Zweni jets off to Germany

2016-09-28 06:00
; Xabiso Zweni, standing here next to the mural of the great thespians Winston Ntshona, John Kani and Athol Fugard at the PE Opera House, flew to Germany on Monday to do workshops on drama.                                         PHOTO: NCEBA DLADLA

; Xabiso Zweni, standing here next to the mural of the great thespians Winston Ntshona, John Kani and Athol Fugard at the PE Opera House, flew to Germany on Monday to do workshops on drama. PHOTO: NCEBA DLADLA

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FRESH from delivering his latest production, #AfterMarikana, at the Barn Theatre in the Port Elizabeth Opera House from August 31 to September 3, actor, playwright and director Xabisolethu “Son Of Theatre” Zweni jetted off to Germany last Monday.

Zweni (29), of Bethelsdorp, is known for having penned successful productions like Sophia is Gone, From Korsten with Love, For Two and Ghost of Glenmore, all of which have been staged at the Opera House and on many other stages.

Zweni’s month-long visit to the city of Oldenburg and Wilhelmshaven to do workshops and learn about process theatre was made possible by two companies, Jugendkulturarbeit in Germany and the PE-based South African Development Research and Training Institute (SADRATi).

SADRATi deals with healing social ills like crime, domestic violence, substance and drug abuse in the northern areas.

“SADRATi deals with social development issues using drama as a tool,” said Zweni, who confessed to living, eating, sleeping and dreaming drama.

He is an arts and culture/drama teacher at St Thomas High School.

He is also an after-school drama facilitator for Masifunde Learner Development, a non-profit organisation in Walmer, and works as a drama facilitator at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

He said: “I use drama to inject well-being and awareness in our society.”

Zweni, is a former Victoria Park High school matriculant who also studied at Stageworld Theatre College under the tutelage of thespian Marlene Pieterse.

He prides himself on having worked with world-renowned theatre and television legends and co-directed with the stalwart Nomhle Nkonyeni a production titled The Truck Driver for the main programme at the National Arts Festival in 2013.

The multi-skilled Zweni, who writes, directs and performs in industrial theatre for companies such as General Motors South Africa, Transnet, VWSA, South African Breweries, NedBank and MW Wheelso, was part of the Performing Arts Company of the Eastern Cape at the Opera House in 2012.

In 2014 he also directed two other plays, Nimbandini and Ghost of Glenmore, which were performed at the National Arts Festival . He also featured as an actor in the Multi Safta and Africa Movie Academy Award-winning film, Of Good Report.

Zweni revealed that it was not the first time that he had been invited to Germany. He was first there on a theatre exchange programme in October, 2014.

He was also awarded the MEC’s Best Performer in Drama award last year at the East London Guild Theatre.

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