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THEATRE FESTIVAL (article first published : 2005-12-14)

KwaZulu Natal Arts and Culture Trust (KwaCulture) in conjunction with the University of Zululand will gather together for the first time KwaZulu-Natal’s best actors, dancers, singers, poets, musicians and playwrights at the university’s BhekuZulu Theatre. The theatre festival will take place on December 18, 2005.

Nearly 500 artists and about 5,000 theatre loving audience members from schools, villages and towns across KZN are expected to attend the planned festival. It will showcase 15 stage productions including the presentation by Okhestra Yesintu (Zulu Orchestra), selected by a team appointed to judge entries.

One of the objectives of the festival is to select suitable shows to perform at the Grahamstown Theatre Festival. A panel of judges will be selected to put together the criteria for groups that will be selected. Such criteria will include points of reference on standards that the groups will have to abide by. Successful groups will get full support from this particular festival. That support will include marketing assistance for presentation at high profile venues such as the Playhouse Company, the State Theatre in Pretoria, etc.

KwaCulture Theatre Festival is a project developed under the Resuscitation of Regional Arts Structures Programme spearheaded by KwaCulture since 2003.

As part of this festival, a group of 15 judges comprising theatre directors and workshop leaders from across the province will also attend and participate in the project development activities. Through its Centre for Arts and Culture Department, KwaCulture and the University of Zululand will act as partners in this bold project and actively participate in a broad array of services to the festival, from technical support to receptions and overall festival planning.

Themba Luthuli, Head of Centre for Arts & Culture Department says: “Both the university and KwaCulture have a shared vision; to support community theatre, in and out-of-school. We see this support as an enhancement to our theatre projects. It is in tandem with the support that we afford our university’s theatre productions.”

Says Buyani Mhlongo, Project Manager, KwaCulture Theatre Festival 2005: “This is the excitement prevailing in our corridors at KwaCulture that we will play such an active role in the development of theatre in KZN. We commend the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund for taking such a bold initiative to sponsor the Resuscitation of Regional Arts Structures Programme.”

The festival is open to the community and will celebrate the province’s creative and artistic talents. Various arts companies such as Eager Artists Theatre Company collaborated to ensure that this festival will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Full details of the programme are available at the University of Zululand’s Centre for Arts Culture Department. Contact Nqobile Nyathikazi on 035 902 6226 or 083 623 7823.




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