Category: Student Theatre

Joseph Putter performs in To4rm on 8 July 2015 at the National Arts Festival.  To4rm is a workshopped piece using the principles of physical theatre combined with personal story telling.  (Photo: CuePix/ Amanda Horsfield)

The lights come up and the cast start screaming. They are each kneeling in front of a metal bowl with a small pool of water in it. There is a pile of soil by each of their sides. As they scream, they wash their hands and then add the soil to the water and mix it. They are suddenly silent as they stand and then step into the bowl. The show is called To4rm.

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Performers in Medea on 9 July 2015 at the National Arts Festival. The fresh take on Euripides’ classic tragedy aims to tell Medea’s story in a more current context, primarily intended to be relevant to women of today. (Photo: CuePix/ Amanda Horsfield)

While the efforts of the production must not go unrecognised, we found it slightly difficult to enjoy the play beyond what it was – a contemporary adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy.

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Josephine Peka and Mkhabela Thabo in Enough is Enough at the 2015 National arts Festival in Grahamstown. (Photo: CuePix/Sithasolwazi Kentane)

Several student directors – all of them women – are presenting work at this year’s Festival that deals with the complexities of gender and sexuality.

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Stefan Erasmus performs in Ashes on 6 July 2015 at the National Arts Festival.  Ashes is a hard-hitting two-hander chronicling the life of a young gay man through the eyes of six characters.  (Photo: CuePix/ Amanda Horsfield)

It isn’t often that a show moves me to tears, but Philip Rademeyer’s portrayal of a gay boy’s childhood did. Not to be confused with the student theatre production Ashes to Ashes, the play written and directed by Rademeyer tells the story of a nameless boy, his difficult relationship with his parents, the society he lives in, and the tenderness of first love.

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Hannah Marshall and Gen Bovijn in The Metamorphosis at St Andrew's Hall in Grahamstown on 5 July 2015 at the 2015 National Arts Festival. The Metamorphosis is about a travelling salesman who transforms into a a gigantic insect (Photo: CuePix/Hlumela Mkabile)

If you read Friday’s Cue op-ed about good and bad Festival posters, you’ll know that a good poster can make a big difference when it comes to attracting audiences. When I saw the poster for The Metamorphosis, an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s classic story, it drew me in.

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Tessa Barlow-Ochshorn performs in Richard III in Grahamstown on 4 July 2015 at the 2015 National Arts Festival. The actors are from Tufts University Department of Drama and Dance in the US. (Photo: CUEPIX/Kate Janse van Rensburg)

The small cast performing Richard III is a talented group of young actors who slip seamlessly between characters and keep the audience engaged without a single stage change.

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Basit Shittu, Kamron McClure, Josh Bonzie and Michael Turrentine performing in a scene from Alissa Millar?s play, Miss Evers' Boys, at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, Thursday 10 July 2014. The show is about four men African American men taking part in a syphilis study in the 1930s. (Photo: CuePix/Joshua Oates)

Miss Evers’ Boys, the Pulitzer-nominated play by David Feldshuh, brought to Festival by the University of Oklahoma, is a horrifying story of racist exploitation.

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Every year at the Student Theatre Festival, a young drama student is pulled from the pack and awarded Most Promising Student Director. Along with R15000 towards producing an original work, the director is given a slot on the Fringe programme the next year to perform it in.

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The Rhodes University production at the Student Theatre Festival never fails to draw a crowd. Solo, which follows a mother’s journey to retrieve her drowned daughter, opened to a sold-out house.

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Cast members of Maid in Mzansi perform in the Rehearsal Room at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, Thursday 03 July 2014. Devised along with the cast, Maid in Mzansi explores the subject matter of domestic workers in a uniquely South African way by using a series of monologues and vignettes drawn from the personal stories of South African woman. (Photo: CUEPIX/Mia van der Merwe)

Opening the annual Student Theatre Festival for the second year in a row, the University of the Witwatersrand brings a political piece that played to a packed crowd at the Rehearsal Room yesterday. Dedicated to South African domestic workers, Maid in Mzansi is relevant and powerful.

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