Thursday, September 29, 2011

28 September 2011

Good Afternoon All.

Just received this press release from the Centre For Creative Arts.
All about the 15th PoetryAfrica Festival 2011 coming up in Durban.
Some wonderful Poetry arriving soon.

A select group of 20 participants from 12 different countries make up the exciting line-up of the 15th Poetry Africa international poetry festival. Hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and made possible through core funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and other valued partners, Poetry Africa runs in Durban from 17 to 21 October at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, with the festival finale at BAT Centre on 22 October. Poetry Africa touring programmes will also feature in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Johannesburg and Cape Town between 8 and 15 October.
The impressive diversity of the programmes will appeal to all poetic palettes, and audiences can expect sharp social and political commentary, innovative, insightful and deeply personal approaches to poetry, streetwise and sassy performances, and a strong spike of contemporary rap and hip hop. With the COP 17 conference on climate change taking place in Durban in November the legendary teaser presentation of all the poets on opening night, 17 October, will focus on environmental and planetary challenges. Thereafter, the general Poetry Africa format is for five poets to perform each evening, with the exception of the festival finale at Bat Centre on closing night.
Tuesday 18 October features Dashen Naicker, Myesha Jenkins, Khadijatou, Raul Zurita and Shailja Patel. A visible presence on the Joburg scene for the past 15 years, activist, writer and performer Jenkins, was last seen on Durban stages in the Feelah Sistah Collective in 2005.  Prior to her stage appearance, Jenkins will be launching her second collection of poetry, Flight of Dreams. UK-based Khadijatou is well-known through underground poetry and jazz scenes, for her voice and signature djembe drum. She is also the founding director and producer of Step Afrika! Bursting through the ranks in recent years is Durban-born poet Dashen Naicker, and winner of the Durban SlamJam at last year's Poetry Africa. One of Latin America's most powerful and controversial voices is Chilean poet Raúl Zurita, whose numerous awards include the Chilean National Prize for Literature and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Zurita's Dantean trilogy of books about the demise that followed the military overthrowing of democracy in Chile, was composed over a span of 15 years.  
Letters to Dennis
Shailja Patel of Kenya has been chosen as the 2011 Letters to Dennis poet, a programme slot instituted last year in honour of late activist and poet Dennis Brutus. Trained as a political scientist and accountant, this brilliant poet and committed activist is a founding member of Kenyans for Peace, Truth and Justice (KPTJ). The recipient of numerous awards and with work translated into 15 languages, Patel was named by the African Women's Development Fund as one of Fifty Inspirational African Feminists for the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.
Starting with a brief performance by Zimbabwean mbira maestro Chiwoniso, music elements are prominent in the Wednesday programme on 19 October that showcases  Patrice Treuthardt (Reunion), Uzinzo, TJ Dema (Botswana), Jaap Blonk (Netherlands), and Didier Awadi (Senegal). Patrice Treuthardt is an advocate for the preservation of the Creole language in Réunion, Treuthardt defied the nation's official ban and his first book of poetry in 1978, was a long poem written entirely in Creole. The poetry of Eastern Cape-born, Cape Town-based artist, Uzinzo, deals with personal and spiritual identity, exploring the struggles and victories of a young African man in modern day society.  Dynamic spoken-word artist TJ Dema is also chairperson of The Writers Association of Botswana.. and the founding member of the Exoduslivepoetry! collective, who have coordinated Botswana's sole annual poetry festival since 2004.  Self-taught composer, performer, musician and poet Jaap Blonk from The Netherlands, has developed a unique form of sound poetry that absolutely challenges pre-conceptions of what poetry, and language, should be. Closing the evening is Senegal's Didier Awadi, one of the most prominent artists to have emerged from Africa's Francophone rap scene. With lyrical content underpinned by a strong African consciousness, Awadi skillfully fuses western aesthetics and African heritage.
Thursday 20 October commences with the awarding of the Sol Plaatjie European Union Poetry Award, and in the book launch slot immediately prior to the show Jacana will unveil an anthology of poetry submitted for the competition. Featured poets for the night are David wa Maahlamela, Fernando Réndon (Colombia), Sandile Dikeni, Niyi Osundare (Nigeria) and Oswald Mtshali. Poet and prose writer David wa the recipient of a number of awards, including the PanSALB Multilingualism Award, notably being recognized for his work in arts development in the Limpopo province. With three excellent collections of poetry to his credit, provocative wordsmithSandile Dikeni makes a much-welcomed return to the Poetry Africa stage where he last performed exactly ten years ago. Fernando Réndon is an exceptional Colombian poet and visionary who founded the Latin American poetry magazine, Prometeo, and co-founded the International Poetry Festival of Medellin. Now acknowledged as the world's largest poetry festival, it received in 2006 the Right Livelihood award, commonly referred to as the Alternative Nobel Prize. Réndon also initiated the recently formed World Poetry Movement. Thursday also includes the prolific and award-winning Niyi Osundare. A leading figure in the popularization of written poetry in Nigeria, with over 16 poetry books, four plays, two books of essays and numerous scholarly articles and reviews, Osundare's works have been translated into numerous languages.
Oswald Mtshali
Returning to the province of his birth is a giant of the South African literary landscape, Oswald Mtshali. His seminal first book,Sounds of a Cowhide Drum (1971), which explored the banality and extremity of apartheid through the eyes of working men in South Africa, was one of the first books by a black South African poet to be widely distributed. Mtshali's numerous awards include the South African Lifetime Achievement Literary Award (SALA) from the Department of Arts and Culture in 2007.
The programme of Friday 21 October kicks off with poetry from the winners of the Poetry Africa schools poetry competition, before Phelelani Makhanya, Dikson (Zimbabwe), Mphutlane wa Bofelo, Gabeba Baderoon and Joshua Bennett (USA) take to the stage. Phelelani Makhanya is a member of Uhuru Poets, based at the Luthuli Museum, and Bare Thoughts at the University of Zululand where he works. A regular participant in Durban poetry circles, Mphutlane wa Bofelo has published a number of poetry books, articles and stories. He is a previous winner of the Poetry Africa SlamJam. From Zimbabwe, and a well-respected poet on the spoken word and slam scene there, is Dikson. Dikson has also collaborated on a number of fusion projects, including with the all-female ensemble WoCalling. Author, academic, and celebrated poet, Gabeba Baderoon, has produced three well-received collections of exquisite poetry - she is recipient of the DaimlerChrysler Poetry Award amongst others.  Bound to raise the early-weekend tempo will be award-winning US-born performance poet Joshua Bennett. Bennett has recited at events such as The Sundance Film Festival, the NAACP Image Awards, and President Obama's Evening of Poetry and Music.
Five talented Poetry Africa Prelude Poets have been selected as a preface to the main line-up on certain evenings. Zuhaira 'Lerato' Esau and Sifiso Mtolo present their poetry on Tuesday, 18 October; Tumelo Khoza and Juba deliver on Wednesday, 19 October; and Siyabonga Mpungose appears on Friday, 21 October.   
Festival book launches all take place at the Wellington Tavern Deck, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, from 18h45-19h15. Myesha Jenkins' Dream of Flight (Gecko Publishing)will be launched on Tuesday, 18 October, while No Serenity Here (World Knowledge Publishers) by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Isabel Ferrin-Aguirre and Xiao Kaiyu, will be launched on Wednesday, 19 October. Thursday, 20 October sees the launch of The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology 2011 (Jacana Media), while Conduitby Sarah Frost (Modjaji Books) is to be launched on Friday, 21 October. 
Music performances also include the eclectic Sazi Dlamini and Ndikho Xaba, and a rocking finale on closing night by Tidal Waves. The busy day programme includes seminars, workshops and activities at tertiary institutions and community centres, engagement with local poetry groups, a prison poetry programme, open mic opportunities and visits by the poets to thirty schools in Durban and surrounding areas to exchange poetry and ideas about poetry with young learners. The high-paced Durban SlamJam takes place at 16h45 at BAT Centre on Saturday 22 October, featuring Dikson, Mphutlane wa Bofelo, Phelalani Makhanya, Joshua Bennett and Sandile Dikeni.
Ticket prices at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre: R30 (R15 for students and pensioners). Book at Computicket (Tel: 083 915 8000 or or at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 18h30.  Closing night at the BAT Centre: R50. There is no charge for workshops and seminars. No advance bookings for BAT Centre.
Poetry Africa on Tour
Poetry Africa performance showcases take place in Blantyre (8th October), Johannesburg (11th), Harare (13th), and Cape Town (15th) with seminars, workshops, talks, panel discussions and schools programmes in some of the centres.
The tour includes a number of participants who do not feature in the afore-mentioned Durban programme, such as Kwame Dawes, Chris Abani, Lebo Mashile and Chiwoniso.
Acclaimed writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and plays Kwame Dawes, who was born in Ghana but spent most of his childhood and early adult life in Jamaica. He is also an actor, playwright, producer, broadcaster, and was the lead singer in Ujamaa, a reggae band. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, Dawes has produced a prolific sixteen collections of fine poetry. Controversial Nigerian-born Chris Abani's first novel got him arrested, and his play Song of a Broken Flute (1990), resulted in a sentence as a political prisoner. He is the recipient of major PEN awards, and his most recent book of poetry, Sanctificum (2010), is a sequence of linked poems, combining religious ritual, the Igbo language of his Nigerian homeland and reggae rhythms. Always a popular performer is the iconicSouth African poet, MC, actress, television presenter and producer Lebo Mashile, who in 2006 was awarded the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa for her first poetry collection. Adding a musical touch is Chiwoniso (Zimbabwe), who has emerged as one of the defining experts in the art of mbira playing, accompanied by her incredible singing.   
Other participants on the tour include Didier Awadi (Senegal),TJ Dema (Botswana), Shailja Patel (Kenya), Jaap Blonk (Netherlands), Khadijatou (UK), Tibass Kangu (DRC). Gabeba Baderoon and Sandile Dikeni present in Cape Town;  Myesha Jenkins and Oswald Mtshali in Johannesburg. Talented Malawian poets Babangoni Kubvala Chisale, Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga and Qabaniso 'Q' participate in the Blantyre Showcase; Zimbabweans Dikson and Xapa will share their skills in Harare.

Visit for other information or contact the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Centre for Creative Arts on 031 260 2506/1816 or e-mail

Certainly looks like some mouth watering poetry coming our way.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

20 September 2011

We have some great events coming up:  

Name of event – Lyrics on the Lawn
Date of event – 25th Oct
Brief description – Join Rising Star Academy for an afternoon of drama, music and dance at Durban Botanic Gardens.
Time – Tickets available from 13h30 – show stars 14h00
Venue – Amphitheatre, Durban Botanic Gardens
Cost  - R50 adults – R20 Children
Contact - | |Andrea 082 994 0984 | Gill 083 326 3257

Name of event – LAMDA Showcase
Date of event – 29th October
Brief description – Showcase of the Rising Star Academy 2011 London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts youth theater performance examination entries
Appropriate age group  - 4+
Time – 18h00 – 21h00 (bring picnic basket)
Venue  - Westville Theatre Club
Cost – R15
Contact - | |Andrea 082 994 0984 | Gill 083 326 3257

Name of event – “Galaxy Rock!” 
Date of event – 9th-12th November
Brief description  - Rising Star Academy present “Galaxy Rock!” an original SA Youth Theatre Rock Musical – “School, exams, aliens, intergalactic rock-battles – who said the life of a teenager was boring?”. The production stars performers between the ages of 10-17 from Ballito to Amanzimtoti, Durban to Hillcrest and all areas in between!!!
Appropriate age group  - All ages - 4+
Time – 19h00  (matinee performance on the 12th @ 14h00)
Venue – Seabrooke’s Theatre, DHS
Cost  - R60 Adults R40 Children (4-14)
Contact Seabrooke’s Theatre - seabrooke'

Name of event – “He’s behind you…”
Date of event – Week beginning 10th Oct – 28th Nov
Brief description – Weekly classes developing your child’s drama skills in the world of Pantomime.
Appropriate age group – Grade 5-11
Time – Various Times
Venue – Various venues
Cost  - R480 (plus reg fee)
Contact - | |Andrea 082 994 0984 | Gill 083 326 3257

Name of event – “So you wanna be a superhero?”
Date of event – Week beginning 10th Oct – 28th Nov
Brief description – Weekly speech and drama classes introducing your child to the world of Superhero’s.
Appropriate age group – Grade 0-4
Time – Various Times
Venue – Various venues
Cost  - R380 (Plus reg fee)
Contact -||Andrea 082 994 0984 | Gill 083 326 3257

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Art Show At Bot Gardens Durban Artists Wanted

To be held near the Lake in the Durban Botanic Gardens
Sunday 27 November 2011 from 9am to 4pm

The Durban Botanic Gardens is happy to announce that, once again, we are planning an outdoor art exhibition in the Gardens in 2012. 
Traditionally we have held the exhibition over the same weekend as the Botanical Society Plant fair 3 & 4 September.  Unfortunately we have had to change the date due to a large function with marquee taking place at the lake over this weekend. 

We have chosen Sunday 27 November because it falls at the same time as the international Climate Change Conference COP17 .  We are hoping to have international visitors to the Gardens and it is just before Christmas when art works will make wonderful gifts.

We are not making it a stipulation, but we are suggesting that if you have any artwork which can in some way relate to Climate Change, then that would make a statement.
We may look at adding some musicians playing under the palm trees, we may create a kids creative zone to paint and draw, maybe a floral display/exhibit which tells the story of climate change and the disastrous consequences – drought, extinction, severe weather patterns etc.

Apart from these new ideas and the date change, the exhibition will run as in the past.  Please invite new artists to participate and if you have any contacts about musicians willing to pay for no fee, or other ideas, please share this with us.
Site space will be limited so, artists, if you are keen to participate, please respond to this e mail as soon as possible in order to book your space.  The cost will be R50 per site (measuring approx. 5m X 5m).  Allocation will be on a first come first served basis and will depend on how many participants.  
As soon as we know if you are keen to participate, an application will be sent to you.  This will indicate banking details which will enable you to lodge your fee direct into the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust bank account.  We will inform you of the date when payment is required.

We do prefer to communicate via e mail so your email address must be included.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Coleen Dewar
Friends of the Durban Botanic Gardens
O31 2025819

Thursday, September 8, 2011

This Weeks Edition

Welcome to Another Issue of Umhlanga Life
In this issue we have some new Music and Theatre Shows

 Guitar legend Steve Fataar and Sandy Bigara will be playing at The German Club, 7 Barham Rd, Westville - 10 September @7pm. R60 pp.
There is a fantastic line up of top class professional performers: Steve Fataar, Tara Fataar, Sandy Bigara, Shannon Hope, Aury Livingstone, and Drumshack Jon. Tickets are available at the door or call 031 266 0836 to book.

DUT Drama and Production Studies Department PRESENTS in association with PANSA

Children’s Theatre Festival
A Festival of Original Plays for Children
Courtyard Theatre, DUT: 23 – 29 Sept

Durban University of Technology’s Professor Debbie Lutge has instigated a brand new festival of original plays to celebrate Heritage Month. The Children’s Theatre Festival, which has already become known as Kids Inherit! Festival (ki!f) is the week-long programme which runs at the Courtyard Theatre from 23 - 29 September,  and showcases the works of local educational theatre veterans Gisele Turner and Wendy Nell  (from well-loved Madcaps Creative Education Company) and features  the first year students of the Drama Department.
Students have the opportunity to make and manipulate a variety of puppets as part of the skills development component to the festival as well as working with lecturers Prof Debbie Lutge, Thomas Mpoeleng and guest director Gisele Turner whose play, Lucky Strike, was runner up in the prestigious Trinity College of London International Play Writing Competition 2010.
“New plays don’t always have the opportunity to be mounted due to financial restraints,” says Debbie Lutge. “This Festival gives life to a local play which reflects aspects of our unique social and cultural environment and also gives our students a valuable opportunity to learn new skills and work with a local playwright.”
The plays featured at ki!f include Green Hat directed by Debbie Lutge. This popular piece is an environmental awareness comedy created by Gisele Turner and Wendy Nell with Aldo Brincat in 2000; it toured over 100 local schools and had a successful run at Grahamstown Festival. “Wendy and I also adapted and dramatised unusual folk stories mostly from the African continent,” says Turner, “As we believe that live theatre has a lasting impression on learners and is an ideal way of creating cultural awareness. The Bride and the Monster is a puppet presentation, working with rod puppets handcrafted by Wendy Nell.”
Rain, an ancient San story which examines the relationship between humans and celestial beings is also on the festival programme as is Silver Stream, an original myth interwoven with African folk lore, all with water as their central theme. These plays are directed by Thomas Mpoeleng, former Junior Lecturer and himself a graduate from DUT’s Drama Studies Department. He co-directed the musical, “Have We Been Heard?” with Durban acclaimed director Bheki Mkhwane.
Gisele Turner directs The Bride and the Monster and Lucky Strike. “This is such a wonderful opportunity to work with tertiary level students and to share my love of theatre for children which is a very rewarding way to earn a living,” says Turner.
ki!f will run over a weekend to allow family audiences to enjoy the selection of plays and then has a run for schools; it is geared to learners from Junior and Senior Primary Schools. The Festival is presented  in association with the Performing Arts Network of South Africa: PANSA and booking is through Lebogang Sibisi 031 3732194. Tickets are R10 throughout for everybody.

DUT Drama and Production Studies Department PRESENTS
Children’s Theatre Festival

23 – 29 Sept
Friday 23 Sept 6 pm: SILVER STREAM (45 mins)
Saturday 24 Sept: 11am GREEN HAT (55 mins) 2pm: RAIN (45 minutes)
Sunday 25 Sept: 3pm double bill: LUCKY STRIKE / BRIDE & MONSTER

Monday 26 Sept  9-10 am: GREEN HAT 
Tuesday 27  Sept 9-10 am:  SILVER STREAM   
Wednesday 28  Sept 9-10: LUCKY STRIKE & BRIDE & MONSTER     
Thursday 29  Sept 9-10 am: RAIN 

by Gisele Turner - Directed by Gisele Turner
LUCKY STRIKE is a township tale centred on a scruffy little dog that becomes part of a child-headed household. Through simple dialogue and action it probes the issues prevalent in the lives of children who face truly challenging situations every day; it also offers hope and humour and love as a balm to these difficulties.  (6 to 12 years old) 

by Gisele Turner with input from original cast Wendy Nell, Sazi Dlamini and Mpume Mthobeni  Directed by Thomas Mpoeleng
RAIN is based on an ancient San story and is an African Myth dealing with the relationship between the celestial and terrestrial. It is a story of good and evil, deception, betrayal, selfish desire and corrupted innocence. Full of song and dance this production brings the ancient story to life. (9 to 12 years)

by Aldo Brincat, Wendy Nell & Gisele Turner. Directed by Debbie Lutge 
GREEN HAT is a whacky physical environmental comedy with a lot of horse play and slapstick but with a really important message regarding litter and pollution. The siblings Laddo, Schlimp and Mango are clowns, each with their own style; they do not respect each other or their space and quarrel hilariously all the time. Until the mysterious Green Hat arrives…. teaching them some key lessons in life. (6 – 12 years)  

Original story by Gisele Turner and Wendy Nell with dramatic adaptations of traditional stories by the writers. Directed by Thomas Mpoeleng
SILVER STREAM is an original mythology written to highlight the importance of water and water conservation; it also has three water-themed folk stories interwoven through it. It speaks about courage and determination and how a person who is ostracised can become a heroine and save her people. It has rich narratives and is full of variety and humour. (9-12 years) 

Traditional story adapted by Gisele Turner and Wendy Nell. Directed By Gisele Turner
THE BRIDE AND THE MONSTER is a folk story told using beautiful hand-crafted rod puppets; it concerns a wily and manipulative monster who pretends to be a human being and infiltrates a village, marrying a chief’s son. But in the end the real bride claims her husband and all is well. Full of song and dance; the Bride and Monster is visually beautiful and although is it a simple tale it carries key messages regarding appearances, manipulation, misuse of power and the triumph of true love.  (9-12 years) 

So much to do in Durban this month.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Audition Looking for a Female Actress

Good day everyone today we have a new Audition hot off the presses from Pansa.

An Educational Theatre Group is looking for a full-time female actress for their travelling theatre project that is based in Durban .
Must be fluent in both English and Zulu
Must have some background / experience in educational theatre
Must be available to start work at the end September
Must be a great performer !

This is a one-year full time post.   The group works every weekday, and some weekends - so this is not a job for freelancers !




Please spread the word.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Time to send in your proposals for the Musho Festival 2012

Just received this from Pansa

MUSHO FESTIVAL 2012:   get your proposals in now ! 

PANSA KZN will be hosting the third Musho International Theatre Festival from 11-15 January 2012 in DurbanThe festival is dedicated to these small works and the celebration of the skill of the solo or duo performe
We are calling for proposals for the 2012 Festival (see details below).  Proposals must be received by 15 September 2011, and are then looked at by a selection committee of local theatre professionals, for selection to appear at Musho!
 Selection criteria for the festival include:

·      The work must have one or two persons only performing
·      The work should be an innovative and interesting concept
·      The work should have potential appeal for local audiences
·      The work should be classifiable as theatre (with a discernable narrative)
·      The company or individual should have a good track-record and reputation
·      The work should not have played in Durban in the past
·      The work should be 50-70 minutes in length

Participants are paid for their participation in the festival.  The amount paid per performance will be confirmed at a later date, and is subject to the funding that PANSA receives. 

Contracts will be drawn up between the artists and the festival once selection and confirmation procedures have been concluded, in October 2011.


Your proposal must contain the following information, with the correctly numbered order. 


1.  Name of producer / contact person
2.  Contact address, telephone number and email
3.  Name of show
4.  Genre of show (e.g.:  drama, comedy, physical theatre, musical theatre etc)
5.  Appropriate audience and age-group
6.  Exciting description of the show (maximum ½ page) – no scripts please!
7.  Description of technical requirements for the show
8.  Names of performers / directors / writers of the show
9.  Background and experience of the group (maximum ½ page)


10.  Details on where show has been performed previously (if any)
11.  Press reviews from show (if any)
12.  Press releases and publicity statements for the show (if any)

Email proposals to