PMB to host arts festival

2015-09-24 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

Umphithi Theatre Group will host an arts festival next month.

PHOTO: supplied Umphithi Theatre Group will host an arts festival next month.

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ON a mission to put the city on the performing arts map, the Umphithi Theatre Group will launch an annual arts festival next month.

The group from KwaPata was founded in 2005 to nurture talent in the performing arts sector.

Founder Gcina Mdluli said the festival which will take place from 24 to 25 October at the Winston Churchill Theatre, and will be preceded by auditions at seven local municipalities under Umgungundlovu district from 3 to 12 October.

“There is so much talent in PMB, but often our talented artists leave the city for greener pastures because there are not enough platforms. We want to unearth and nurture young talent. While holding auditions we will also conduct workshops where we will be equipping young people with knowledge in terms of directing, script-writing, stage management, acting and administrative skills. Seventeen groups that will be selected during the auditions will participate in the festival.

“The festival will also be attended by various experts in the field of drama and theatre, including casting agencies and renowned actor Bheki Mkhwane, who plays the role of ‘mfundisi’ on b Uzalo. Through our national and international connections, the winning group will get an opportunity to perform in Germany, Market Theatre and the Grahamstown festival.

“There will also be a Lucky Mavundla award which will be given to the best actors and actresses in honour of Lucky Mavundla, who produced various renowned actors,” said Mdluli.

She said groups who don’t win will be put into an aftercare programme where they will be mentored and encouraged to create their own projects.”

Co-founder of the organisation, Skhumbuzo Dlamini, said this year’s theme is “Theatre against xenophobia and social ills”.

“We believe that theatre is a powerful form of communication as it conveys messages that some people would not have understood if it was only in writing. While our focus for this year is on theatre, we hope to focus on other genres under the performing arts as from next year.”

Prior to the festival there will be screenings of a theatrical production called “Healing the wounds of the past” which is produced in Germany and is the brainchild of a South African actor Xolani Mdluli, who is based in Belgium. The screenings will cost R10, and will start at Eastwood hall on 23 October from 8pm, 31 October at the Unit J hall and 1 November at KwaMncane hall.

To take part auditions download entry forms from www.umphithiartscom or email info@umphithiart

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