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PANSA RECEIVES BOOST FROM LOTTERY (article first published : 2005-07-22)

The Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) is delighted to announce that it has received a generous grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) to expand and develop its reading of new writing festival in 2005.

The event will now be known as the NLDTF/PANSA Festivals of Contemporary Theatre Readings and will take place in three cities in November: Cape Town will host the first festival of contemporary South African drama from November 10 to 13; the second will be held in Durban from November 17 to 20 and will focus on one- and two-hander plays and finally, Johannesburg will host the third from November 23 to 27, which will focus on contemporary South African comedy and satirical drama. The best works from the first two festivals will also be invited to the Johannesburg event. Funding has also been made available to tour the three Jury winners nationally in early 2006.

Sershan Naidoo, Manager: Player Services and Media Liaison for the National Lotteries Board, commented: “We are proud to be associated with the new writing festival and are confident that the festival will provide a valuable platform for new works by South Africans. Festivals of this nature will also create a new awareness and appreciation of truly South African theatre. It is hoped that National Lottery funding will assist the festival in affording much-needed opportunities to new local talent.”

There is substantial prize money available for each festival– various awards will be presented and will be known as the NLDTF/PANSA awards: Best Writer (as selected by the panellists) will receive R30,000; runner-up will receive R15,000; Best Director will receive R10,000 and the Audience winners will receive R15,000.

With the aid of the NLDTF grant, PANSA can work towards its aims of encouraging new and excellent theatre. It will also provide writers with real motivation to write and produce new work, with the best works being guaranteed productions, and other works having some kind of exposure that could lead to their production. It will develop theatre in at least three of the country’s main centres and audiences in several provinces will be exposed to the best works. The essence of the festivals will be the practical production of outstanding theatre that could be proudly South African exports to travel abroad, provide artists with ongoing work and incomes and raise the standards of local theatre.

Two major successes have been Kobus Moolman’s Full Circle and Mike van Graan’s Hostile Takeover at this year’s National Arts Festival, where both were presented on the Main (see reviews on Festival page). Full Circle was the Jury winner in 2004 and was produced and presented in association with the National Arts Festival. The Market Theatre produced Hostile Takeover, the runner-up in both the Jury and Audience award categories last year. Both have been received exceptionally well by audiences and critics.

PANSA is calling for scripts in three categories by August 19: Contemporary South African drama; Contemporary South African comedy and satirical drama, and one- and two-hander plays. Three panels of judges will select the best scripts for participation in the three festivals. Each of the selected scripts will be given a substantial subsidy to fund rehearsals, actors’ and directors’ fees etc. The festivals are open to writers who are South African citizens.

The basic criteria for participation are: the work must be an original work and not have been published or performed before. PANSA would have first option on producing and publishing the play (selected works may be published in a collection) and plays should be between 70 minutes and 90 minutes long to ensure the possibility of a full-scale professional production. There should be a maximum of eight actors (does not apply to one-or two-hander plays) and English should be the primary language of the play.

Scripts must be typed, loose-leaf and have all pages numbered. Applicants must also complete an application form which can be obtained from the PANSA offices below or can be sent via e-mail or fax. This must be returned with the script by no later than August 19.

Submissions can be sent or delivered to the three provincial offices: In Durban, this is PANSA KZN at 33 Vause Rd, Berea, Durban, 4001 or phone 031 201 2161 or e-mail: pansakzn@polka.co.za

Other provincial offices are PANSA Gauteng: Postnet Suite 114, Private Bag X7, Parkview, 2122 or office 300A, 3rd Floor, 2 President Street, Newtown. Phone 011 492 3211 or e-mail: pansa@artslink.co.za or PANSA Western Cape: Postnet Suite 237, Private Bag X18, Rondebosch, 7701, Cape Town or 16 Clyde Street, Woodstock. Phone 021 448 4496 or e-mail: pansa@polka.co.za

It is important to note that hand-written submissions, those that exceed the requirements above, or those that arrive after August 19, will not be accepted. Submissions will not be returned and only successful applicants will be informed. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

All enquiries to 011 492 3211 or e-mail: pansa@artslink.co.za




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