The City of Cape Town, in association with the Baxter Theatre Centre, will be hosting the sixth YES Environmental Drama Festival on 26 and 27 July 2013 in the main theatre at the Baxter. The YES Drama Festival is one of the youth development initiatives of the City of Cape Town’s Youth Environmental School (YES) programme.


Environmental plays to be showcased at this two-day festival are created by various high schools in Cape Town. The plays will explore safety issues and practical actions which are needed if people are to effectively save electricity and reduce consumption. Through their plays, the participating high school learners have also been asked to demonstrate active citizenship – showing how they would approach a challenge and find a solution; how to be active roleplayers, change their behaviour and engage in effective long-term actions. The learners have been asked to consider how they share in the global effort of resource conservation.


The 11 environmental plays will be staged on Friday 26 July 2013 before an adjudicating panel of six judges. This panel comprises:

  • The Chairperson of the City’s Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning Portfolio Committee, Councillor Xanthea Limberg;
  • Riefaat Hattas from the City of Cape Town’s Electricity Department;
  • Ina Bruce, Curriculum Advisor for the subject Dramatic Arts at the Western Cape Education Department;
  • Award-winning performer and director, Mdu Kwayema;
  • Pavs Pillay, a science communicator who specialises in marine issues and global climate change based at the Marine Research Institute at UCT;
  • and Sheryl Ozinsky who has assisted the City of Cape Town with their Electricity Saving and Solar Water Heater campaigns.


On Saturday 27 July 2013, the participating learners will perform their group piece and there will also be a performance of one of the plays performed on Friday. This will be followed by an awards ceremony at which the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Garreth Bloor, will officiate. Prizes will be awarded for the Best Performer and Best Supporting Performer, Best Production and Most Promising Production, the Best Script and an overall Judge’s Award for a unique feature in a production which is worthy of special mention.


The programme is as follows:

Environmental plays

Date:         Friday 26 July 2013

Time:        15:30 – 18:00

Venue:      Main Theatre, Baxter Theatre Centre

Prize-giving, showcase and group piece performance

Date:         Saturday 27 July 2013

Time:        11:00 – 12:30

Venue:      Main Theatre, Baxter Theatre Centre

Members of the public are welcome to attend both festival days. There is no entrance fee. For more information please contact Fran Cox on 082 556 0275.


Background information


The theme of this festival is Smart Living. Smart Saving, with the particular area of focus being Electricity Savings and Safety: for all the right reasons. The theme encourages participants and the audience to examine electricity consumption and safety, looking at ways in which people can be smart with electricity.


The following schools are participating in this year’s festival: Zisukhanyo Secondary, Aloe High, Settlers High, Queens Park, Rocklands High, Edgemead High, Chris Hani Arts and Culture School, Malibu High and St. Joseph’s Marist College. Also participating are Beautiful Gate SA (a community youth development initiative) and the Durbanville Children’s Home (a place of safety).


In preparation for this festival, participating schools have attended a programme of six creative workshops on theatre-making, as well as on understanding the environmental issues that drive the festival theme. Leading theatre practitioners have conducted these workshops which have provided learners with skills to create a performance text, and also an understanding of physical theatre and environmental theatre.


Award-winning theatre director, Lara Bye, teamed up with Nicholas Ellenbogen of Theatre for Africa to put together this programme of workshops. Well-known performers and theatre experts Lesoko Seabe, Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, Darron Arouje, Luke Ellenbogen, Liz Mills, Ella Gabriel and Leila Anderson facilitated and led these workshops.


The City’s Environmental Resource Management Department and Electricity Services Department have facilitated the environmental learning which has supported the script-writing process.


All participating schools will make use of a “one-set-for-all” design. This is a very effective tool for encouraging learners to be highly creative in their approach to the stage space. Each participating school has also been asked to be aware of electricity consumption when lighting their plays. The Baxter Theatre has provided a minimal stage lighting rig which each school will use efficiently and creatively. Schools have also been asked to use alternative non-electrified lighting in their plays.


A showcase group performance which highlights the savings tips communicated by the City’s Electricity Savings Campaign has been directed and developed by Lesoko Seabe for all participating learners. This group piece will be staged on Saturday 27 July.

Issued by: Integrated Strategic Communication and Branding Department, City of Cape Town