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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ARTSCAPE NEW WRITING (article first published : 2002-06-28)

The growth of new dramatic writing is vital for the continued health of South African theatre. So says well-known director Roy Sargeant who believes that confidence is growing in new South African dramatic writing.

“The dangers of all new work are well known to all of us. Professional theatre people are haunted by the possibility of failure. No one more so than myself. But I believe there are certain fundamental qualities that a play needs to have any chance of success. And I believe that these qualities are basic to all the forms of playmaking that exist. And I believe that the total racial mix of our audiences will respond to these fundamentals of storytelling.“

The Artscape New Writing Programme has been running for close on a year now. It is a major ongoing community dramatic writing exercise and places texts, fully-written plays that is, under the analytical microscope and then provides writers with meaningful guidance and feed-back.

The Programme consists of four modules: Send Your Script (any unsolicited manuscript sent to Artscape written in either Afrikaans, English or Xhosa or a combination of all three); Playwriting Workshops for Advanced and Beginners; Editing where the playwright works with an editor identifying weaknesses (once the script has been identified as worth pursuing); and Showcases which are productions of promising plays, presented as a showcases or try-outs at very low cost.

A new module features Play Readings, another form of try-out, presented at absolutely minimal cost.

More details from Artscape on 021 410-9800 or write to Artscape, PO Box 4107, Cape Town, 8000.




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