The Artscape Theatre Centre will come alive with stories in August and September, in celebration of Heritage month.
Nigerian poet Ben Okri says: “We are stories that we tell ourselves.” While Heritage Month means different things for different people, Artscape will be celebrating heritage by telling stories and considering how narratives are reflected orally, written and in creative forms.
Through various disciplines, Artscape will question identity, with a focus on “who we are, what we are and what we have been”, encouraging young and old alike to reclaim and restore the important stories of our heritage, to challenge misappropriations and find healing.
Some of the highlights of the festival include a new piece by Indoni Academy Dancers, Inkundla (Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 August), which looks at the “theatre of life” and Siembamba (Thursday 3 to Saturday 12 September), a multilingual play which explores the life of a black domestic worker and the white child she helped raise.
Choirs from around the province will take to the stage alongside the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday 13 September for the Western Cape Choral Music Association’s (WeCCMA) 2015 Choral Music Eisteddfod.
Fans of more contemporary sounds will be thrilled to hear that Freshlyground’s Zolani Mahola, rock queen, Karen Zoid and soprano Zanne Stapelberg will be bringing their hit show, Zanne, Zoid and Zolani to Artscape as part of the festival.
Back by popular demand Izityhilelo Zobuze by Lingua Franca will explore the concept of circumstantial inheritance through sensational poetry and music from Thursday 17 to Saturday 26 September while Words of War by Anele Rusi will tell stories of our heritage and history through inspiring poetry and songs of celebration.
Much of South Africa’s heritage is tied up in the stories of our neighbouring countries, a point proven by Born Around Here, a production by Botswana’s Company@Maitisong. The piece tells the often unknown story of Botswana and other neighbouring countries contribution to the struggle for freedom in South Africa through the eyes of Botswana family.
Away from the stage, Artscape will host a dialogue titled “Connecting Creatives” on Heritage Day while Artscape’s Tunnel (mural area between Artscape and Civic Centre Parking) will become the backdrop for Ngokomzekeliso Wakhe (In His Image) – a performance art instillation by a multi award winner Chuma Sopotela – on Thursday 24 and Saturday 26 September.
Bantu Biko said: “History works through people, and we have availed ourselves for history to work through us.” With their Heritage Festival, Artscape hopes to inspire theatre-goers to unearth their hidden stories and embrace their diverse identities.
The Artscape Heritage Festival will be on stage from Thursday 27 August to Sunday 27 September. Tickets are available from Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695. Visit www.artscape.co.za for more information. Follow us on Twitter #AHF15
More about Inkundla:
WHERE: Artscape Arena Theatre
WHEN: Thursday 27 – Sunday 30 August (matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday)
TICKETS: R80 (R50 for students, pensioners and block bookings)
Choreographed by Sbonakaliso Ndaba, Inkundla is a production by Indoni Dance, Arts and Leadership Academy, which was formally established in Gugulethu in January 2015 to provide high quality professional training to young performers with a lack of financial support in order to help them pursue and career in performing arts.
In African culture, “Inkundlu” refers to a valued place or platform where people engage with one another, telling their stories and seeking recognition, power, status, love or sometimes revenge.
The full length Inkundla also incorporates the highly acclaimed Inkululeko- which was choreographed for the Freedom Day Festival in Langa.
More about Siembamba:
WHERE: Artscape Arena Theatre
WHEN: Thursday 03 – Saturday 12 September (matinee performances on Saturdays and Sunday, no performance on Monday 7 September)
AGE RESTRICTION: 16
Written by Philip Rademeyer and Penelope Youngleson, with direction by Rademeyer and design by Youngleson, Siembamba tells the story of a black domestic worker and the white child she raised in the 1980s, looking at their intimate mother-child bond forged at a time when they were socialized to hate one another.
The production, which stars Nieke Lombard and Lesoko Seabe, won a 2014 Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award and was performed at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival.
More about the WeCCMA Eisteddfod Choral Music Competition:
WHERE: Artscape Opera House
WHEN: Sunday 13 September (10:00)
Hosted by the Western Cape Choral Music Association in partnership with Artscape Theatre Centre, the competition is divided into a senior and premier section. All choirs will be accompanied by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra as they compete to be crowned the 2015 WeCCMA Eisteddfod champion.
More about Izityilelo Zobuze:
WHERE: Artscape Arena
WHEN: Thursday 17 to Saturday 26 September (no performance on Monday 21 September, matinee performance on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September)
TICKETS: R80 (R50 for pensioners, students, scholars and block bookings)
Directed by Mbongeni Nomkonwana and Lwanda Sindaphi, Izityhilelo Zobuze is an exploration of the concept of circumstantial inheritance committed to a personal and intimate poetic memory and interrogation. A journey with Lingua Franca spoken word movement, the production is a narrative that fuses the complexities of opposing realities and the inevitability of newness that is and is yet to be.
More about Born Around Here:
WHERE: Artscape Arena
WHEN: 24 September at 10:00
TICKETS: Invited Guests Only
Many South Africans are unaware of how other countries helped South Africa and its liberation movements during the Apartheid struggle. This production, created by Botswana-based Company@Maitisong highlights the contributions of Zambia and Botswana in the struggle for freedom, through the eyes of Zake, a South African refugee who marries a Botswana citizen and undertakes underground operations between Gaborone and Lusaka.
The presence of political refugees posed grave dangers to nationals who were often harassed or killed for “harbouring terrorists”. Their stories are told while the play interrogates human vulnerabilities and fears, while shining a light on love, compassion and the spirit of Ubuntu.
More about Zoid, Zanne and Zolani:
WHERE: Artscape Theatre
WHEN: Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 September
TICKETS: R200 (R180 for students, pensioners, scholars and block bookings)
Presented by Artcape and Brainwave Productions, Zanne, Zoid and Zolani brings together three of South Africa’s top vocalists: the enigmatic lead singer of Freshlyground, Zolani Mahola, the Queen of Rock, Karen Zoid and the passionate soprano, Zanne Stapelberg.
More about Words of War:
WHERE: Artscape Arena
WHEN: Thursday 24 (14:00) and Saturday 26 September (13:00)
TICKETS: R80 (R50 for students, pensioners, scholars and block bookings)
Words of War is a collection of inspiring poems and songs of celebration woven together with moving instrumental music. The production is a collaboration of thoughts and visions by Anele Rusi, Anele Kose, Nomakrestu, Masixole Mali and Aviwe Kalolo who call themselves “servants of the art and soldiers of the heart.”
With live sound by DJ Andre, Words of War tells the story of a child haunted by voices and visions from “the other side”. It is a celebration of our scars and history.
More about Ngokomzekeliso Wakhe (In His Image):
WHERE: Artscape Tunnel
WHEN: Thursday 24 (15:30) and Saturday 26 September (12:00)
This performance art installation explores the moulding of a person by using the elements of sand and water to symbolize life. It also explores how a body can be reshaped by fire.