Uncategorized Student Theatre: taste of things to come

Student Theatre: taste of things to come

Performances at the Festival frequently allow audiences to glimpse the future and see where art and theatre are headed in the next few years, with student theatre on the main programme often featuring heavily in the theatrical forecast.

This year’s line-up at the Student Theatre Festival promises to continue the fashion, boasting a vast number of productions which will tackle everything from gender to show business to the end of the world.

Representatives from 13 tertiary institutions in South Africa will be presenting new and originally-scripted works, exploring new theatre styles and demonstrating how youth culture is reflected on stage.

Student performers, designers, directors and writers will have a chance to show off their talent as professional artists, while being helped along by two expert advisors.

With new productions opening each day, students from around the country are bound to stir the mind with outrageous plots and content.

Asking difficult questions
The opening production by students from the Market Lab, Monnamolorra: The Eyes of Night questions what drives our dreams. The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s offering Peace. Love. Recycle aims to create a ‘recycled’ country free from hate and racism.

Other plays grappling with contemporary South African issues are Hunger Strike and Reclaiming the P…Word. Hunger Strike, by students at the University of the Free State, introduces the audience to the last two people on earth after AIDS and famine have ravaged the world, while violence against women and children is looked at in the University of the Western Cape’s Reclaiming the P…Word – a production which markets itself as South Africa’s version of the Vagina Monologues.

Game/s breaks down into phases how the opposite sex is courted, scrutinising the characteristics of gender and power relations, while You’re Missing the Point looks at how men and women communicate with each other.

In an interactive show by a crew from the University of Pretoria, Like Show Business engages with the soul-destroying processes behind the production of meaningless and commercial entertainment, and how we’re all caught up in it.

Making connections
Also lamenting the state of hollow human existence is Night Shifting, which charts the journey of a cubicle-dweller, stuck in routine and his escape to a fantastical world. The idea of breaking routines extends to the Durban University of Technology’s Fragmented Prisms! which shows how moulds can be broken and new paths forged by interrogating how we make connections in our lives.

City Varsity will teleport audiences to the year 3 000 in Trek – a sci-fi take on the state of an over-industrialised city, employing both puppetry and physical theatre in the telling of the story. Woza Andries and Random Acts, on the other hand, go in the opposite direction by looking back through history at the effects of apartheid in a post-democratic society.

The final play at the Student Theatre Festival, Rubber, will feature a team from Rhodes University presenting a creative piece on the destruction of emotion caused by a lethal, manufactured carcinogenic that turns everything from livestock to homes into brutal killers.

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