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Khanya Theatre Festival 2009 "Time Out"

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Published on Apr 15, 2010

Production: Swii Arts Amendment, Eastern Cape
Writer and Director: Monde Mgonyama
Cast: Nobesuthu Rayi; Sifezelwe Mbeka

Two girlfriends, Sipsy and Babs, are domestic workers who usually spend their lunch times doing usual girl talk. This summer day is different. They have read in a newspaper an advert by the government inviting women to apply for business opportunities. Excited, the two young women begin to map their dreams. In the middle of their conversation Sipsy receives a call from the Ward Councillor, who confirms that her application for an RDP house has been approved. She is over the moon. Strangely Babs, who applied at the same time as Sipsy, does not get the same call. Surprisingly, instead Babs is asked to report to the Councillors office. This call should not have come.

The first Khanya Theatre Festival presented six productions from the 2009 Ikhwezi Theatre Festival (Baxter Theatre Centre in Cape Town) during the 11th Khanya College Winter School in Johannesburg, from July 31 to August 7 2009.
An important aim of the festival, and of Zabalaza Theatre in general, is to promote and stimulate indigenous language drama in the country. Khanya College believes that in order to release the creative energies that still remain locked in South Africas townships, an indigenous language theatre has to develop and flower.
Khanya College sees the Zabalaza Theatre as an important step in the growth and evolution of South African theatre. Against the background of a critical gap in the performance landscape, Zabalaza Theatre has been established in the 7th floor in the House of Movements, 123 Pritchard Street in Johannesburg. It offers a space for a developmental theatre, a critical theatre and it offers an additional and alternative performance space in the city.


Ikhwezi Theatre Festival: celebrating ten years of creativity (1998-2008) by Itumeleng wa-Lehulere

In the last decade, Ikhwezi Theatre Festival has been a platform for young and upcoming directors and theatre companies to showcase their creative works. Through the Festival, we have managed to bring back the culture of popular theatre and African story telling techniques that was prevalent in the Western Cape in the 1970s and early 1980s. The festival is privileged to be the custodian of the legacy left by the Peoples Space Theatre, Community Arts Projects, Arts Centre, Cape Flats Players and Action workshops. The Festival has gone on to produce quality talent that has become household names in the local television and film industry. We have created a popular platform and space for young and aspiring women writers and directors to experiment and engage in intellectual debates about their plight as African artists, that has led to the creation of critically-acclaimed productions like Beneath silent waters and Udaba bafazi which were performed professionally in South Africa, after being chosen as the best of the Ikhwezi Theatre Festival 2007.

We have endured a lot of challenges in our quest to be the best in community arts development and in 2004, Ikhwezi won the Best Development Project award from the Arts and Culture Trust. Other major productions that came through Ikhwezi include Gaptoothed sisters, Echoes of our footsteps and the award-wining Down Adderly street. All these plays have toured major theatres in South Africa.

Aims and objectives of the Festival
To develop a critical and discerning theatre-going audience among working class people, especially in the black townships;
• To build a popular theatre tradition as part of a broader theatre tradition in South Africa;
• To provide training and performance opportunities for young artists, especially from previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa;
• To provide training and opportunities for exposure for other artistic forms (like the visual arts, writing, performance, poetry and so on) for young artists especially from previously disadvantaged communities;
• To provide support and platform for young artists to build professional careers in the arts;
• To promote the practice of various artistic forms, especially theatre and writing in the various indigenous languages of South Africa; and,
• To promote and support the building of a socially committed cultural movement in South Africa.

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