Life-Changing Opportunities for Aspiring Theatre Performers at Suidoosterfees
“7de Laan, here we come.” This dream has become a reality for two aspiring young actors who took part in the Eden/ West Coast Drama Festival at the Artscape Fugard Theatre in Cape Town on Sunday, 3 February 2013. The festival is an annual showcase at Suidoosterfees for emerging talents to present their work on stage. It is a joint effort between Suidoosterfees, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and others to share local stories and to promote community theatre groups.
Olivia Pika (22) from Riversdale and Julian van der Westhuizen (23) from Langebaan jumped in delight when they were chosen as Best Actress and Actor. The couple, who represented the group “Redlight 7”, are former drama students from Northlink College in Tygervalley. They are set to audition in Johannesburg next week for a role in the television series 7de Laan.
“Winning was an amazing feeling; it really means the world to me,” said Van der Westhuizen. He never thought something like this would happen to him. “I just want to learn as much as possible. This is more than an audition, it is an opportunity to learn; a new experience.”
Pika said, “to perform on a professional stage is my dream. This will also be my first audition, and I just want to give my best.”
This event was preceded by four drama festivals – two in the Eden District and the other two in the West Coast District. Two winners from each district were chosen to represent their regions at the Suidoosterfees.
Mr Moeniel Jacobs of the Directorate: Arts and Culture said the performances amazed the audience and impressed the adjudicators. He praised the groups for presenting such professional, well-scripted and well-directed productions.
Mr Thami Mbongo of the Baxter Theatre said he would invite all four groups to perform at the Zabalaza Festival to take place from 2 to 17 March. This will provide another opportunity for young talent to perform on a professional stage. Redlight 7 will also present its production “Tussen Grafte” at the Absa Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunsteweek (KKNK) in Oudtshoorn on 30 March.
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer expressed his delight at having seen promising young performers display such passion for what they do. He thanked Suidoosterfees for providing a platform for them to display their talent, saying, “we were blown away by the creativity of the performances at the festival”.
Through the staging of this festival, the Department and its partners are promoting and developing local drama groups and providing opportunities for the best to perform on the professional stage.