Hillcrest pupil in Pansa project

2015-06-30 06:00
Hillcrest resident Benjamin Wiblin.
Photo: Val Adamson

Hillcrest resident Benjamin Wiblin. Photo: Val Adamson

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HILLCREST boy, Benjamin Wiblin, is to perform in this year’s 15th annual Pansa Youth Performers project, Soldiers in the City.Funded by the KZN Department of Arts andamp; Culture and Rainbow, it is an innovative new home-grown work created by Themi Venturas, Iain “Ewok” Robinson and Lucky Cele which engages with the new emerging urban youth culture, and comes to the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre for a 12-performance season, from 3 to 12 July.

Benjamin goes to Glenwood High and lives in Hillcrest. When asked why he auditioned for the production he explained: “I am in love with the dramatic arts and I try to be involved as much as I can.” In Soldiers in the City he plays Bird. His vision he said is “to become a famous singer and actor”.

The production is a contemporary relevant story talking about pertinent youth-focused issues. Two best friends, both poets, compete in an underground slam poetry challenge, where they realise that words can be sharper, and more dangerous, than swords, and forgiveness and loyalty is more valuable than glory.

The production examines the overt culture of the new generation which includes rhyming, beat-box, urban dance, music and public artwork like graffiti - much like the Step Up movie series. The production team for 2015 includes Themi Venturas (writer-director), Iain “Ewok” Robinson (creative consultant), Lucky Cele (co-writer), Daisy Spencer (choreographer), Des Govender (vocal coach) and Dawn Selby (musical director).

Open auditions were held at Glenwood High and at the Hexagon in Pietermaritzburg to gather the best musical-theatre high-school performers to make up the cast.

The cast of 25 were chosen at auditions on 18 and 19 April. Rehearsals have begun with the cast meeting every weekend until the opening night.

The show will run at the UKZN Sneddon Theatre from 3 until 12 July and booking is essential as there are only 11 performances this year. Booking is through Computicket outlets at Shoprite Checkers, by phone on 0861 915 8000 or online at atwww.computicket.com

For more information, phone Pansa co-ordinator Nelisa Mzimela on 031 201 4750 or email:kzn@pansa.org.za - Supplied

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