PMB to host arts festival

2015-09-24 06:00

The Umphithi Theatre will next month host an arts festival at the Winston Churchill Theatre.

PHOTO:supplied The Umphithi Theatre will next month host an arts festival at the Winston Churchill Theatre.

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ON a mission to put the city on the map in the performing arts sector, Umphithi theatre group will for the first time in PMB launch an annual arts festival next month.

The group from KwaPata was founded in 2003 in a bid 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.

Speaking to Echo, Mdluli said: “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 we will be holding auditions, we will also be conducting 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 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.” Mdluli further said those groups who don’t win will be put under 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 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, which will be charged at R10, 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 in auditions download entry forms from www.umphithiart or email info@um

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