The weekend of 6 October 2018 saw the conclusion of the development aspect of the Drama Festival of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS). A production development workshop was hosted in conjunction with the Baxter Theatre’s Zabalaza Festival. All the selected groups from the adjudication showcase were invited to be part of this skills training weekend.
These emerging artists were trained in directing, writing and acting as well as how to utilise sound, light and costumes to elevate the level of their productions. One of the biggest workshops for this festival took place in Oudtshoorn at the Schoemanspoort Cultural facility. Artists presented pieces of their productions and facilitators assisted these artists on how to elevate the standard of their productions as well as giving them valuable input from the adjudication showcase. Groups from Eden included Most Wanted, Superstars Drama Club, Untitled Productions, Evolution Drama Group, Plett se Planke PSP, Redefined 101, Knysna Secondary School, Fantasies Dramaties, Take a bow and #DRAMAtic, while Cape Winelands groups included Makupula Secondary School, Mbekweni Nkwenwezi Youth, Team Bring It, Mahibuye Drama Group, Kwakhanya Aftercare, Khoisan Drama Group, African Calling, Bonnievale Culture Project and Net Vir Pret.
Celebrity facilitator from the hit television series Scandal, Bongile Mantsai, said it was extremely rewarding working with these young talents and the amount of talent and amazing stories have been great to watch. He also expressed how great it was to see the growth of some of the young artists and said he was looking forward to seeing the final production in February.
“The young artists have presented some of the most amazing productions we have seen since the inception of the festival 8 years ago. We need more resources and investment in this programme, not only from DCAS but from the community and businesses as well. We need to grow theatre and we as DCAS cannot do it alone”, says project manager Moeniel Jacobs.
These artists and their productions will go back to their communities and prepare and develop their plays for the big finales, which will take place in February 2019.
Communities should use these opportunities to empower themselves. Let us nurture the talent of our youth and support them to become self-sufficient artists. BETTER TOGETHER.