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SPIER-PANSA FESTIVAL OF NEW WRITING (article first published : 2002-02-21)

Six new South African plays have been selected for the inaugural Spier/PANSA Festival of Reading of New Writing that will take place at the Spier Estate from February 22 to 24.

The aims of the Festival - sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Embassy is to generate original South African theatre works, to provide a platform for these works to reach the attention of theatre producers, and to select at least one for a full scale professional production to be sponsored by Spier.

During the weekend festival, six plays will be read by professional actors and each reading will be followed by a discussion about the play, dialogue with the writer, and feedback from the judges. The judges and the audience members who attend all six readings will vote for the play they think has the most the potential for a professional production and Spier will have the prerogative to stage this piece during the next year.

The weekend festival will end with a panel discussion entitled The good, the bad and the ugly: South African theatre today. The panellists are Steven Sack, Chief Director for Cultural Development and Institutional Governance in the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology; Jerry Pooe, Chairperson of PANSA (Performing Artists Network of SA) in KZN; Adrienne Sichel, arts journalist with the Star Tonight in Johannesburg, and acclaimed local theatre director, Marthinus Basson.

The public is welcome to attend the play readings and discussions. Attendance on Friday and Sunday will cost R25, and R45 for Saturday. More details from Zakeyah Braaf at 021 881 3190.




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