“2014 is the year, we as South Africans come together to celebrate twenty years of democracy, and reflect on the many people and organisations who worked tirelessly to make this dream become the reality we are able to enjoy today.  To this end, our artistic and education programmes for the year focus on the diversity of our nation, the richness of our multi-cultural heritage and the similarities we share as people”, said Marlene le Roux, Director of Artscape’s Audience Development and Education Department.


Twenty years of democracy will be celebrated at Artscape between 23 and 27 April.  One of the highlights is a special performance of Credo on 27 April.  It is a ground-breaking multi-media oratorio in honour of the father of the nation, Nelson Mandela, to thank him for his gift of freedom and unity to South Africa.  The oratorio was commissioned and first hosted on 18 July 2013 by UNISA. Presented in association with the production company, Pina Ya Thari, Credo is a bold testament to the Freedom Charter. The creators of this spectacular work are Bonagni Ndodana-Breen, Brent Meersman and Andrew Peter Black.


Africa Day will also form an important part of the celebrations at Artscape from 21 to 24 May.  Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity and presents an opportunity to recognise and honour our unique heritage.  This year’s celebration will include performances by:

  • Melanie Scholtz, James Matthews and Dizu Plaatjies (Artscape Arena, 23 and 24 May);
  • On 24 May in the Artscape Theatre, the Libertas Choir, Indigenous Orchestra Ensemble (under the directorship of Bongani Sotshononda) and the artists Poseletso Sejosingoe, Adamo da Silva and Hassan Adas will perform with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Brandon Phillips.
Ian Smith with Wellington/Mbekweni  Band at Artscape. Photo supplied

Ian Smith with Wellington/Mbekweni Band at Artscape. Photo supplied

Grade 12 learners and their educators can look forward to the following stage productions of setworks: 

  • 5 – 14 May:  Amaza (isiXhosa setwork); a thriller by ZS Qangule set in a rural village in the Transkei.
  • 8 – 17 May:  Verskabaret (Afrikaans setwork), highlighting the warmth and uniqueness of Afrikaans poetry.
  • 15 – 16 August:  Four Seasons (Dance setwork) presented by the Vuyani Dance Theatre under the directorship of Gregory Vuyani Maqoma.


From 11 to 28 August, the popular Artscape Schools’ Arts Festival will be staged in the Artscape Theatre.  The festival gives learners of all school-going ages, the opportunity to showcase their talent on a professional stage.  Choirs, dancers, musicians and budding artists are eligible to enter.  Visual displays are also welcome and will be exhibited in the foyers during the festival.  The Gala event on 29 August will showcase the work of selected productions.


Vadhini Indian Dance Skool, Melanie Scholtz, Community Plouyback Movement, Basil Apollis and Emile Jansen

Vadhini Indian Dance Skool, Melanie Scholtz, Community Plouyback Movement, Basil Apollis and Emile Jansen


Another highlight for learners is the Artscape High School Drama Festival which will be staged in the Artscape Arena from 11 to 14 August.  This project gives learners an opportunity to create and present an original drama around a central theme.  This year’s theme is Democracy, Demokrasie, Demokrasi.  To afford more schools the opportunity of participating and to accommodate rural schools, Mini Festivals will take place during April.  Approximately 15 entries will be selected to participate in the main festival in September.  The award ceremony on 16 August will showcase the best productions.


The dates and venues for the Mini Festivals are:

Artscape Arena                                                           19, 20 and 21 May 2014

Schoonspruit Seconday School (Malmesbury)         22 May 2014

Langeberg High School (Robertson)                          23 May 2014

George High School                                                   26 May 2014


To obtain entry forms and for more information concerning the Schools’ Arts Festival, the High School Drama Festival and the setwork performances please contact the Artscape School Liaison Department on 021 – 410 9927 or slu@artscape.co.za.


As part of the Audience Development and Education Department’s skills development programme, Artscape has been involved with the Cathsseta Learnership – Certificate in Music. The Cathsseta (Culture, Arts, Hospitality and Sport SETA) Learnership Certification is the culmination of year-long structured learning programme that gave young people with a background in music, an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge of the music industry.


This learnership which was implemented in the Wellington and Mbekweni areas aimed to equip unemployed youth to develop their musical ability and to acquire skills to access opportunities in the industry. Twenty-four candidates started this journey and the certification ceremony on 24 February celebrates the achievements of those learners who have completed the learnership. The programme was run with the support of the Cathsseta, the Breytenbach Centre and St Albans Primary School who provided venues and proud partners who donated instruments to the band. For more information about the forthcoming programme, contact Amanda Barnes, Project Manager on 072 9117592 or mandybarnes@iafrica.com.


Wellington/Mbekweni Band at Artscape

Wellington/Mbekweni Band at Artscape

The launch of this exciting line up for 2014 took place on the 24th February at Artscape.

Information on the other exciting programmes to be presented throughout the year can be accessed on Artscape’s website, www.artscape.co.za.  Watch the media for details.