Playhouse Company to celebrate Africa Month


6 & 7 May 2016

In celebration of Africa Month, social cohesion and unity in diversity, The Playhouse Company is staging Africa Celebrates, a weekend of visual and performing arts on 6 and 7 May.

On show in the Grand Foyer for the duration of the weekend celebrations will be an exhibition of Africa-themed pieces curated by The Durban Art Gallery from its vast collections. In the Main Foyer, crafters from around KZN will exhibit their wares and demonstrate how they make their pieces.

On Friday 6 May from 12h00 to 14h00, three exciting workshops entitled The Social Exchange will take place. These workshops will offer stimulating opportunities for arts practitioners to show others in the industry what goes into making their medium. Workshops will be led by Miranda Young, who works with drama in correctional facilities and who will be running a fabulous drama/improvisation workshop; the incredible Burundian Drummers with a drumming workshop; and the Playhouse Dance Residency, who will run a dance workshop and demonstrate to audiences what goes into being a professional dancer.

Still on Saturday 6 May, two workshops will be run as follows from 14h30 to 16h30: A Music Workshop facilitated by Thando Nyameni from the KwaZulu-Natal United Music Industry (KUMISA) in the Grand Foyer; and a Poetry Workshop by Menzi Maseko from Nowadayz Poets in the Alhambra Room.

At 17h00 on the same day, celebrated musicians Madala Kunene and Solomon Willy will perform in The Playhouse Company’s special Africa Celebrates version of its monthly Sundowners concerts, with poets KB Kilobyte, Xabiso Vili, Khusi Mahleka and Vuyiswa Guliwe. The concert will take place in the Playhouse Cellar.

On Saturday 7 May, the programme will begin at 10h00 (until 11h00) with a workshop on Entrepreneurship in the Arts, followed by a workshop on Marketing and Publicity in the Arts at 11h30 (until 12h30). These workshops will be run by experts in their fields, and will be ideal for anyone involved in the arts.

From 11h00 to 14h00, The Playhouse Company’s regular Test Driving the Arts platform will showcase the following groups in the Porte Cochere: Ofelela; Hyena Blues; Indlondlo; Amaviyo and Ikusasa Elihle, with Thabo Mnguni as the MC.

To end of the Friday 6 May programme will be the opening night performance of The Cenotaph of Dan wa Moriri, a touching drama starring Tony Miyambo who conjures the story of his late father from barely-remembered moments, fading images, truths and half-truths. Booking is at Computicket, and tickets are R80 each.

On Saturday 7 May, from 14h30 to 16h00, Dr Gcina Mhlophe, arguably South Africa’s foremost storyteller, will facilitate a session called The Art of African Storytelling, which will see expert storytellers from various different cultures demonstrate their storytelling abilities and explain what it is that makes their brand of storytelling unique. Audiences will be encouraged to share their storytelling heritages, and the facilitator will explain the origins of storytelling and the variations that exist within Africa. The event will end with a prepared story from each of the speakers, and a question and answer session. Confirmed for the session are professional storyteller Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa (originally from Uganda, but now resident in Cape Town), Living Legend Dr Don Mattera and award-winning journalist and film-maker, Sylvia Vollenhoven.

Also on the programme for 16h30 (until 18h30) on Saturday 7 May is A Tribute to African Poets/Words Drawn led by Ian ‘ewok’ Robinson and featuring veteran poets Nomusa Xaba and Nokulunga Dladla, who will perform some of Africa’s greatest poetry, while graffiti artists put visuals to the words. Afterwards, musicians Daniel Dos Reis and Thando Nyameni will play a 30-minute session each in this extra-ordinary version of The Playhouse Company’s regular Sundowners concerts in the Playhouse Cellar.

To end off the Africa Celebrates weekend at 19h00 on Saturday 7 May, some of South Africa’s foremost performers will feature in a spectacular Africa Celebrates Concert in the majestic Playhouse Opera Theatre. This glittering production will feature top-notch performers Mi Casa, Simphiwe Dana, Tresor (originally from the DRC, but now resident in South Africa), DJ Happy Gal, the Burundian Drummers and Wentworth-based hip-hop dance outfit, Dance Movement. The Concert will be directed by Aubrey Sekhabi, with musical direction by Victor Masondo. Living Legends Dorothy Masuka, Abigail Kubeka, Dr Joseph Shabalala, Samson Mazibuko, Dr Don Mattera, Samson Mazibuko and Theo Bophela will be honoured during the concert. The MCs will be Dr Gcina Mhlophe and Alex Mthiyane.

The Cenotaph of Dan wa Moriri will also play in the Loft Theatre at 19h30.

All activities included the Africa Celebrates weekend are free to the public, with the exception of the Africa Celebrates Concert, for which tickets are on sale at Computicket at R80 and R100, and The Cenotaph of Dan wa Moriri, which is R80 per ticket via Computicket.

21 April 2016
For press enquiries & images, contact Franki Hills, Marketing & Communications Co-ordinator.
Telephone: (031) 369 9405

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