Pink Mynah flies

2010-06-22 00:00

A recently formed city drama group has been invited to perform at a national festival.

The Pietermaritzburg Gay & Lesbian Network’s drama group, the Thespian Club, has been selected to perform at the South African National Community Theatre Association (Sancta) festival from June 24 to 27 at the Johannes Stegman Theatre in Secunda, Mpumalanga.

They will be performing the work the Pink Mynah Support Group, which aims to challenge stereotypes and to look at challenges faced by gays and lesbians.

The group, which performed for the first time at the Pink Mynah festival on December 1, 2009 at the ­Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg, recently received mentoring and support through skills workshops in preparation for the festival in Mpumalanga.

The mentoring, which was provided by Daisy Spencer, who has choreographed and directed a number of drama and dance performances in Durban, and made possible by ­Sancta, took place at the Catalina Theatre in Durban in April, May and June.

During the workshops the cast members, who are between 17 and 26 years old, and either at school, studying or unemployed, learned warm-up exercises, graphic mime, story creating, team-building and received input and recommendations from Spencer on the play.

The drama group, which was ­established in November 2009, is part of the Safe Spaces programme which aims to create safe spaces through various activities including drama, but most importantly to ­create awareness of gay and lesbian issues in society.

Vernon Moodley, Safe Space co-ordinator for the Gay & Lesbian Network, said: “The drama group has grown since it started out and shows great potential for furthering drama as a career. We would like to wish the group all success for the festival. We would also like to thank the Arts and Culture Department, KwaZulu-Natal for funding the drama group which has made it possible for it to participate in the festival.”

Judging this year’s festival are ­Hazel Bilsland Brown, Tallowah Suntsha and Renos Spanoudis. Cash awards will be given for the three winning plays.

For more information or to make a donation to the drama group, please phone Moodley at 033 342 6165 or visit the network’s office at 185 Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg.

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