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PLAYHOUSE SCHOOLS SEASON (article first published : 2006-02-16)

Following renovations in the Playhouse theatre complex in January the Playhouse Company, in association with McCarthy Retail, proudly presents its annual Schools Education and Development (E & D) season. This sees three productions, Traces, King Lear and Umthathe Uzala Umlotha, each staged for school learners, playing the Playhouse in February and March.

The season opens with the dance programme, Traces. This exciting and innovative dance piece has been commissioned by the Playhouse Company and has been developed by Phenduka Dance Theatre for senior primary schools with the aim of inspiring in learners an appreciation and love of dance and theatre.

The programme moves through a broad spectrum of dance dynamics, combining the exquisite lyricism of excerpts from the full-length version of Traces, up-beat rhythms, energetic free-style dances and breath-taking contact work where the dancers lift one another and tumble through the air.

Traces highlights Phenduka’s unique style and captivating energy and presents a thought-provoking collage of dance with which young learners will readily identify. Packed with this exciting young company’s trademark vibrancy and vitality, it is guaranteed to capture the imagination with its energy, diversity and athleticism.

The production plays in the Playhouse Loft daily from February 20 to March 3 at 11h00. Further performances will be given on the Playhouse Transnet Truck stage from March 23 to 29. More information from Mala Govender on 031 369 9456.

The second E & D production of the season is a new dramatisation for high schools of the Zulu set work novel, Umthathe Uzala Umlotha. Commissioned by the Playhouse Company, this is directed by Thami Sikhosana and is to be performed by Action Space Theatre Company. This production is set to run in the Playhouse Opera from February 27 to March 8, with all performances at 11h30. Contact Mala Govender on 031 369 9456.

Presented alongside these two productions is a new staging for high school audiences of Shakespeare’s great tragedy, King Lear, presented by The Actor’s Co-Operative in association with the Playhouse Company. Directed by Clare Mortimer, the cast includes Ron Smerczak (Lear), Belinda Henwood (Cordelia), Clare Mortimer (Goneril), Josette Eals (Regan), Neil Coppen (Edmund), Jacobus van Heerden (Edgar), Adam Dore (Cornwall), Iain Robinson (Albany), Thomie Holtzhausen (Gloucester), Bryan Wallace (Fool), Dean Roberts (Oswald) and Rowan Bartlett (Kent).

The production plays in the Playhouse Drama from February 13 to March 24 with daily performances weekdays at 09h00 and 12h00.

Evening public performances of King Lear will be given on February 24 as well as March 2 and 17 at 19h00. King Lear bookings are through Margie Coppen on 031 266 7892 or 083 251 9412.




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