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JERRY POOE (article first published : 2000-07-20)

Eager Artists is a highly active and sought-after young theatre company. This has much to do with its founder and director Jerry Pooe who is tireless in his efforts to showcase the talents of his group. Last year, he received a scholarship from the United States Information Service (USIS) to train at Indiana University where he was placed in a festival management capacity.

Contacts made during this period have resulted in three highly prestigious projects.

The full Eager Artists company of 15 performers recently presented a music and dance programme at the Friendship Festival which took place in Buffalo, USA, and Fort Erie, Canada. The South African arts and culture department (DACTS) provided funding of R70,000 for the group’s air tickets.

Besides Jerry and well-known actress Patti Nokwe who is the company’s vocal coach, six members will return to the States again in September to perform a six-week story-telling programme in Buffalo presented by the local Arts Education Institute. The group also includes David Manqele, Mihla Magagula,.Joel Zuma, Gcina Vilakazi and Buyani Shangase, all of whom appeared in Jerry’s Peace in the Valley. Joel Zuma is one of the nominees for the FNB Vita Durban awards for Best Performance in Musical Theatre. The show itself is up for best musical production and best lighting.

Jerry went to Buffalo in May for the planning session of an educational entertainment project to be hosted by the University of Buffalo in September 2001. Titled Living Room, it includes five programmes: music, dance, storytelling, a musical and a story on AIDS. Choreography will be handled by South Africa’s acclaimed Boyzie Cekwana.

“After we perform we will sit down with the audience and discuss what we’ve just done,” explains Jerry. “The organisers want to create a stronger relationship between performers and audience to encourage a dialogue between them.”

More details from Jerry on 083 732-1640.




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