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TWO FOR GLOBE (article first published : 2004-06-12)

After an intensive selection process, two actors have been selected to represent South Africa at the International Artistic Residence at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, from August 2 to 31 in London. Jennifer Steyn from Gauteng and Peter Butler from the Western Cape emerged as the final two during a round of rigorous auditions held at The Actors Centre. The Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) co-ordinated the selection process with the panel consisting of Dorothy-Ann Gould, Yvette Hardie and David Dennis.

The panelists were struck by all the candidates' passion for Shakespeare and inventive interpretations of the texts. Gould commented that "all the actors brought Shakespeare back to our territory, to South Africa and were not bound by colonial preconceptions". Dennis highlighted the need for this process to be developed so that actors can engage with Shakespeare again. Hardie noted the hunger of actors to experiment with Shakespeare and the passion with which they all presented their auditions.

Shakespeare's Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work, and the playhouse for which he wrote, through the connected means of education and performance. The Residence for professional theatre artists aims to introduce the unique playing space of the reconstructed Globe Theatre to actors from the different creative traditions of countries with a present or past connection with the Globe. It is not designed to turn artists into English Globe actors, but to explore discoveries made at the Globe so that participants can return to their own culture of playing Shakespeare with something to share of the experience of original playing conditions.

The course is an intensive four-week programme of voice, movement, verse and acting work and participants will work as an ensemble for five days a week with as much access to the stage as possible. The Residence will be led by an experienced Master of Play supported by resident Masters of Voice, Movement and Words who are international Globe specialists. The programme will culminate in an evening performance on the Globe stage on August 30.

PANSA acknowledges with thanks The Actors Centre for their support of this project. Detailed information on Shakespeare's Globe can be found on their website at www.shakespeares-globe.org or further information from the PANSA National Office on 011 880 5486 or pansa@artslink.co.za




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