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THE R.I.T.E. COMPANY (article first published : 2004-04-25)

R.I.T.E is an acronym for Research in Theatre Education. The RITE Co is a non-profit making company designed to empower young theatre artists. The aim of the Company is to nurture new talent in the theatrical industry and provide a professional platform for these artists work. It is a tribute to the young talent trained at this institution and therefore employs new graduates to pursue an intensive training program further.

The RITE Co was founded by its artistic director Debbie Lutge who is currently the Head of Department at the Durban Institute of Technology: Drama Studies Department where she has taught for 15 years. As an international theatre educator and practitioner she has long espoused the need for communicating conceptually exciting material to youthful minds as a means to inspire new works.

Peter Shaffer's The Private Ear therefore provides a prelude to a new production In Black and White, a workshop production directed by Debbie Lutge and scripted with company members Andile Mngadi, William Waldon and Genbia Hyla. The Private Ear against a backdrop of romantic comedy inscribes the social masks that clutter passions with the inability to communicate and thereby provide comfort. In Black and White jousts with racial identity and the concomitant culturally constructed expectations and prejudices with some amusing and unusual twists.

The RITE Co is currently seeking funding to continue their work and any interested parties are invited to contact Debbie Lutge. The profit on all productions is evenly distributed among the actors in order to generate salaries.

Debbie Lutge has evolved a process of training actors and directors devised from a bilateral premise. The actor or director must uncover the 'raw self' of both the character and the actor. The theory is based on the notion of three generic identities: the 'social self'; the 'individual self'; and the 'raw self'. These identities pervade physical, emotional, intellectual and psychological identity.

The RITE Company will be launched at Kwasuka Theatre on April 27 at 19h00 with a performance of Peter Shaffer's romantic comedy The Private Ear directed by Debbie Mailovich with set and lighting design by Tina Le Roux. The cast includes Andile Mngadi, William Waldon and Debbie Dolan.

More information from Debbie Lutge on 031 204 2194/2199 or e-mail: debbiel@dit.ac.za




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