THEATRE & PERFORMANCE

(FORMERLY DRAMATIC ARTS)

NEWS

Wits TAP graduates shine in NCT’s production of Coriolanus

  This year the IEB English setwork for 2016 is Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. The play is one of Shakepeare’s last tragedies, and follows the story of the eponymous Roman general. To support the introduction of a new set work, the National Children’s Theatre has produced a version of Coriolanus that has been touring schools around South Africa for the past few months, and will continue to do so until June. The majority of the cast and crew are graduates of our division, and they have been acquitting themselves most admirably in the process.   Sarah Roberts, a staff member in the Division of Theatre and Perfromance had this to say about her interactions with the cast: “What was as important to witness was how quickly and generously all these young graduates established a shared sense of purpose; a strong ensemble sensibility is already in place.” Congratulations to all the Witsies involved, the evidence of your employment reflects well on the outcomes of our training programme in the division.   Cast: Thapelo Sebogodi William Harding (Wits Alumn, 2009) Cassius Davids MaxX Moticoe Carlos Williams Sanelisiwe Yekani (Wits Alumn, 2015) Emma Delius (Wits Alumn, 2013) Emilie Owen (Wits Alumn, 2012) Karl Thurtell (Wits Alumn, 2013)   Directed by Rohan Quince and Nicola Pilkington (Wits Alumn, 2014)   Designed by Sarah...

WSOA Alumni flourish in the 2015 Naledi Nominations

The Naledi Awards for 2015 were announced and it is wonderful to see such a strong showing of teaching staff and alumnus from TAP being acknowledged. Congratulations to Mwenya Kabwe, currently a staff memebr in the division on being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in Doubt. It is also excellent to see Lidja Marelic, a relatively recent graduate, and Phala O. Phala, a graduate of our MA programme, both being nominated in the emerging voice category. Adam Pelkowitz, a graduate who honed his skills in the musical theatre programme, is nominated for two awards. Dom Gumede’s Crepuscule, a work that began in a 3rd year writing course in our division and that was further developed in a 4th year directing module, has 7 nominations including Best Director for Dom and Best New South African Play. Kafka’s Ape is another work that began in the MA directing programme a few years back. Our current Head of Divsision, Greg Homann’s production, based on the life and work of Alan Paton, has 8 nominations including Best Director, Best Production, and Best New South African Play. Two productions that Makhaola Ndebele’s directed, Lepatata and Making Me Human, also have multiple nominations. Here is the full list of Wits associated 2015 Naledi nominations. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Mwenya Kabwe – Doubt – Prod. by Daphne Kuhn for the A&G Theatre on the Square. Witten by John Patrick Shanley, Dir. by James Cuningham. BEST PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES (Supported by Assitej SA) (13 – 17) – Short, Stories, Alive – Prod. by Nobulali Productions. Edited by Sandy Kerr, Dir. by Neil Coppen. BEST PERFORMANCE IN A CHILDRENS’ THEATRE...

Field Bands salute

Field Bands salute In hosting its biennial National Championships in Soweto on 20 February 2016, the Field Band Foundation NPC was privileged to have a 10-strong team of Fourth-Year Arts Management student volunteers from the communications course of Wits University deployed in our support. Their role was a crucial one of cross-communications disciplines in event management, brand custodianship and client relations management: to manage the branding display of principal Foundation supporters in the private sector, and to act as ambassadors for De Beers in hosting the Foundation’s sponsors and strategic partners at this premier event. The resultant display of efficient professionalism by the Wits team was of great import for the Foundation. It allowed for us to be experienced by our principal supporters in ways that solidify their backing for our work with more than 6 500 young South Africans of disadvantage – and this is crucial to our project’s sustainability. This joint effort also helped to showcase the Foundation’s national operations as equal to the top class performances being given by Field Bands on the day. For this energetic partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand, the Field Band Foundation is truly grateful.   – Paul Pereira, Field Band Foundation public affairs,...

Brown Bag Sessions

BROWN BAG SESSIONS 4TH QUARTER 2015 BRING ALONG YOUR LUNCH AND JOIN US FOR A SERIES OF INFORMAL PRESENTATIONS BY STAFF OF THE DIVISION OF THEATRE & PERFORMANCE   ALL WELCOME – STUDENTS TOO! DATE, TIME & VENUE PRESENTER TOPIC/FOCUS 19 October 1-2 p.m. WSOA 231 DR. SAMUEL RAVENGAI   The Politics and Problematics of Transforming South African Theatre   26 October 1-2 p.m. WSOA 231 MWENYA KABWE & JONI BARNARD Nomads Among Us: A Proposal for Teaching and Research 16 November 1-2 p.m. WSOA 231 GREG HOMANN   Claiming Western Texts for Contemporary South African Theatre: Issues of Relevance and the Dead-end Pursuit of National Identity   30 November 1-2 p.m. WSOA 231 To be confirmed PROF. SARAH ROBERTS After … (after) the...

Vumani Oedipus at the Market Theatre

Wits School of Arts and the Market Theatre join forces to bring an African Oedipus to life  It’s local, it’s lekker, it’s … an Athenian tragedy. Yes, things haven’t changed much since 430BC and if you thought Sophocles was out of touch, think again. Prophets, patricide and incest are all still around, setting the stage for a thrilling whodunnit, Mzansi-style.  Wits Theatre, Wits School of Arts, in partnership with The Market Theatre presents a scintillating performance of Vumani Oedipus – an Africanisation of the classic murder mystery. Directed by Wits lecturer Samuel Ravengai, Vumani Oedipus completed it’s run at the Market Theatre’s Barney Simon Theatre on Saturday evening. The final performance was filled to capacity, and the students were greeted by tumultuous applause at the end of the evening. The play was an “Africanised” Oedipus Rex, situating the original play within a fictional nation called Nguniland. The play explores a man’s attempt to escape his awful destiny foretold at his birth by a sangoma.“The philosophy of the play hinges on the power of the metaphysical world on humans, and already suits the African context where the interpenetration of metaphysics and reality is part of the African worldview,” said Ravengai. Vumani Oedipus was created by, and features, students (and a lecturer) from Wits School of the Arts as well as actors from the Market Theatre Laboratory.  “This partnership with Wits ties in perfectly with the intentions of the Market Laboratory drama school, to train young performers and theatre-makers to be professional, disciplined, and excellent in their craft. We are thrilled about the partnership between the Market Theatre and Wits,” said...

Frailty Review

Frailty was performed at The WIts Science Stadium on West Campus from the 26th August to the 4th September. The production was a site specific exploration of the 14 different Shakespeare plays, reformatted into a collage of similar narratives, interlocking themes, and heightened action.   Here is a review of the...

Yerma

Yerma Written by Federico García Lorca A new version by Ursula Rani Sarma Directed by Rajesh Gopie Lorca’s play tells the story of a childless woman living in rural Spain, hence the title of the play Yerma meaning ‘barren’ in Spanish. The story centres on her overwhelming desire to become a mother in a society that measures a woman’s worth by her ability to bear children. In her obsession for motherhood, she is propelled by both internal and external pressures that eventually drive her to commit a horrific crime. Yerma, originally set in rural Spain in the early part of the 20th century, delves into the remote world of Yerma, a farmer’s wife, deeply unsatisfied with her childless status.  Her daily life is a pattern unchanged for centuries centering on home and husband. As the years past and there is no child, she feels trapped by a sterile marriage, a seemingly uncaring husband and a village community hostile to anyone who is different. Surrounded by gossip and talk of infidelity, Yerma, painfully endures her difficult social position whilst seeking “spiritual” intervention to conceive a child. Her unrelenting maternal pursuit leads to a strain in her marriage and her husband decides that Yerma must be restrained by force if necessary. It is a deeply compelling story with contemporary relevance. Federico García Lorca was a rare and unique writer of his time. His plays provided complex and challenging portrayals of women in rural and subservient conditions within a fascist, male dominated Catholic society. This play unfolds inexorably like a Greek tragedy complete with chorus who provide commentary, elements of ritual and...

Senior Design Exam

These photos are from the 8 hour senior design exam held at the Division of Dramatic Arts last week. The pictures clearly demonstrate the levels of tense concentration, the abundance of materials used and the creative practice of designing for the theatre. For more information regarding the design module as part of the Dramatic Arts courses at Wits click...

WHATS ON

EVENTS AND EXHIBITIONS

News Categories

Monthly Archives