Most Promising Stars Awarded at the 5th Zabalaza Festival
Nearly 50 productions from over 30 suburbs, regions and provinces took part in the annual Zabalaza theatre festival. The 5th festival, which is sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), the Baxter Theatre and various other sponsors and partners was held from 21–28 March 2015.
The final selection of participants for the Zabalaza festival took place at nine mini festivals, in which over 400 groups were auditioned. Six groups from Eden and Cape Winelands Drama Festival were selected to partake in the Zabalaza of which four youths were nominated in various categories during the Awards. After the week long programme, the awards ceremony was held on 28 March 2015. Categories included Most Promising Writer, Best Newcomer in Directing and Best Musical Director. This year’s festival saw a record number of female directors, writers and theatre makers in the programme.
Thami Mbongo, Zabalaza Theatre Festival Artistic Director, reflected on the last five years of the Zabalaza festival, and acknowledged the success of the festival. “We were happy that there were so many female writers and directors in this year’s festival” he said.
Best Script winner, Paul Noko, said he was humbled by the hospitality and warm reception. “Art is not a competition, but a platform to tell your story. The Zabalaza festival gave us that platform” he said.
“The Department provides funding for the Zabalaza Festival as its focus is the development of youth in the Western Cape as well as providing these artists with performances on a professional stage. The department’s relationship with the Zabalaza Festival has resulted in many youth from rural areas being given this opportunity to interact with theatre professionals here in Cape Town” said project manager from DCAS, Moeniel Jacobs.
It is through festivals like this, that DCAS and its partners aim to develop the arts and expose the young talent of the Western Cape. DCAS, in collaboration with the various stakeholders, continues to develop the next generation of theatre stars by creating awareness, supporting and developing emerging talents to make the future BETTER TOGETHER.