Eden Drama Festival Unfurls the Future for Youngsters
Seventeen drama groups and one poet took part in the first and second legs of the Eden Drama Festival held at the Riversdale Town Hall and the George Arts Theatre on 5 and 6 August 2016 respectively. Drama groups travelled from as far as Dysseldorp, Oudtshoorn, Ladismith, Albertinia, Mossel Bay and Grootbrak to take part in the annual festival.
The groups each presented a 20-minute play which they had written and directed themselves. The festival judges were Thami Mbongo, Artistic Director of the Zabalaza Festival, Bongile Mantsai, Public Relations Officer of the Zabalaza Festival and Lauren Hannie, a writer, director and actor whose play Tippex won this year’s Zabalaza Festival. The judges gave the groups constructive feedback about how to improve the already excellent plays they had produced and performed on the two nights.
The festival was presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), in partnership with the Hessequa Municipality, the George Arts Theatre, the Baxter Theatre and the Zabalaza Festival. Judge Thami Mbongo made specific reference to how professional productions are developed from inception, and said: “This year we have taken a new approach by developing these unique local stories in depth and ensuring that the productions are produced on the foundation of professionalism.” The winners of this festival will receive an opportunity to perform at the Baxter Theatre, Artscape Theatre and Absa KKNK.
Three groups from each leg of the festival were selected to participate in the Eden District Drama Showcase Finale on 26 November 2016. They are, from the first leg of the festival, Youth in Revolution (Groot Brak), Albertinia Drama Group (Albertinia) and Evolution Drama Group (Riversdale). From the second leg of the festival Ligugu Arts Programme (Bongelethu), Cay-Cay (Dysselsdorp) and Team Explosive (Sedgefield) were selected.
These groups will attend a Production Development workshop in October, which will include scriptwriting, character development, directing, plot and technical aspects of the theatre. This weekend on 13 August 2016 the final leg of the Eden Drama Festival will take place at the Hornlee Civic centre, where groups from around Knysna and Plettenberg Bay will compete for the final places in the Festival.
DCAS and its partners aim to develop the arts through festivals such as this, and to expose the young talent of the Western Cape to various other opportunities in the sector BETTER TOGETHER.