Focus on Plays and Playwrights at GIPCAThe Famous Idea Trading Company
The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) will present Directors and Directing, a weekend event focussed on Plays and Playwrights.
This takes place from 24-26 August 2012.
Playwrights, directors, critics and actors will converge from various parts of the country to address some of the key questions facing current theatre-makers. Directors and Directing: Playwrights will include theatre visits, performances, play readings and informal talks, and a symposium providing a platform for discussion. Going behind the scenes, the programme examines the core of theatrical performance: the presence (or absence) of the written text.
With performance at the heart of this investigation, participants will be party to a number of playreadings, closed rehearsals, and performances. These will confront ideas around playwriting from a range of approaches providing the core for the weekend’s discussions.
Opening the conference will be a performance of the world premiere of JM Coetzee’s novel Waiting for the Barbarians. Adapted for the stage and directed by Alexandre Marine, the presentation includes a post-performance discussion with Producer Maurice Podbrey. Podbrey returned to South Africa 14 years ago from Canada, where he had a distinguished theatrical career and was awarded the Order of Canada. On his return he formed the Mopo Cultural Trust, which has as its mission the development of new theatrical talent and has completed over 20 productions over the years in all parts of the country. Multiple award-winning director Marine, recipient of the Distinguished Artist of Russia award, has had an extensive career as a stage actor and director. He is the founding member of the Tabakov Theatre in Moscow and founding artistic director of Théâtre Deuxième Réalité in Montreal. Coetzee, who was born in Cape Town and emigrated to Australia in 2002, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. Waiting for the Barbarians was first published in 1980, and was chosen by Penguin as one of the Great Books of the 20th century.
Against an abstract, timeless and placeless setting; the Magistrate (played by Grant Swanby) administers a small outpost of the Empire, in a story that is part mythical and part psychological. He is suddenly supplanted by Colonel Jol (Nicholas Pauling) who has been sent to confront a supposed attack from the Barbarian tribes. His military occupation exploits every fear and superstition to justify his actions and the Magistrate witnesses the rapid degeneration of civil life as torture becomes commonplace. A Barbarian girl (Chuma Sopotela) is one victim and it is her fate – and the Magistrate’s intervention – that is the plot of this gripping drama.
On the Saturday afternoon, in preparation for the production’s upcoming European tour, delegates will be treated to a closed final rehearsal of medEia designed and directed by the inimitable Brett Bailey. Across Africa, gangs of armed men crash through remote villages looking for booty, sex, adventure. Medea, a village priestess, burns all her bridges to follow Jason, the leader of one of these gangs, to the European metropol of Corinth. Ostracised and abandoned in this xenophobic capital, she is driven into depression with darkest repercussions…
Oscar van Woensel’s beautiful adaptation of the classical Greek myth is a fragmented stream of consciousness. Studded with pop songs and sitting on top of the ace drumming of Frank Paco, Bailey’s pop-ritualistic interpretation draws inspiration from Haiti where he spent several months. First performed at in Johannesburg in 2003, the production has played internationally; been selected as best South African production of the decade by the Mail & Guardian; and was awarded a gold medal for best production design at the 2007 Prague Quadrennial (International Exhibition of Scenography and Theatre Architecture).
Multi-talented theatre-maker Thando Doni was nominated as Best Director at the Baxter’s Zabalaza Theatre Festival in 2011, and won Best Director in 2012 for Mhla Salamana. His Eutopia is a continuation of this work, created as part of the Emerging Theatre Directors’ Bursary. Working in Xhosa combined with a rigorous physical language and borrowing aesthetics from African ritual, poetry and movement; Doni’s interest lies in the manner in which a simple story is told. With the same lyrical brutality that left the audience shattered after Mhla Salamana; Doni and the cast explore the state of waiting – for change, for promises, for the perfect world… and the role/s that we do or don’t play in the creation of it. Drawing from the experience of millions of South Africans who are still waiting for the world that was promised in 1994, Eutopia questions whether it can ever exist.
Turning the spotlight on a part of life in contemporary Cape Town, Kragbox explores notions of male identity and masculinity in communities dominated by gangsterism and violence. Originally created by Frances Marek with Dann-Jaques Mouton and Ephraim Gordon and now directed by Mark Fleishman, of the multi-award winning Magnet Theatre; extremely talented physical theatre performers create the landscape and the multiple characters of the world that Greg January and Jimmy Gladdevingers inhabit; caught in a cycle where the dreams of childhood do not necessarily come true. It is performed in Kaapse Afrikaans.
Stilted takes a slightly different spin on identity and language, questioning the notions of communicating through language and the medium of performance; conceived and created by GIPCA Fellow Richard Antrobus as part of his MA Drama (Contemporary Performance). Transforming various elements in the original text, director Andrew Buckland shifted the show into a play that crosses genres and transcends identity and language barriers while confronting the very themes of language and identity itself, questioning what it is to be a performer, and the notions and definitions of performance itself.
Playreadings of work by provocative writers Megan Furniss (Drive with Me) and Louis Viljoen (The Kingmakers) round up this focus on performances approaching playwriting from a range of angles.
Directors and Directing: Playwrights will take place at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town from 24 – 26 August 2012. Tickets for this weekend long event are available through Computicket from Monday 6 August and cost R175. This includes all talks and performances, the opening function, lunches and light suppers. Single day tickets are R100 for Friday 24 August, R75 for Saturday 25 Augusts and R50 for Sunday 26 August. Student tickets are R140 for the entire weekend, R80 for Friday, R60 for Saturday and R40 for Sunday.
The full programme will be available from www.gipca.uct.ac.za from Wednesday 1 August. For further information, contact the GIPCA office on 021 480 7156 / email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About GIPCA: The University of Cape Town’s Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) facilitates new collaborative and interdisciplinary creative research projects in the disciplines of Music, Dance, Fine Art, Drama, Creative Writing, Film and Media Studies. Interdisciplinarity is a key theme of the institute and projects are imbued with innovation, collaboration and dialogue with urbanism and community. GIPCA was launched in December 2008 with a substantial grant from Sir Donald Gordon, founder of Liberty Life. An Advisory Board comprising Heads of Departments of all Performing and Creative Arts Departments at UCT helps to shape contexts for the instigation and development of projects by students and staff, as well as a wide range of institutions and individuals outside the university. For more information on the 2012 GIPCA programme, visit www.gipca.uct.ac.za, or phone 021 480 7156.
GIPCA Director: Associate Professor Jay Pather
GIPCA Project Manager: Adrienne van Eeden-Wharton
Chair of the GIPCA Board: Professor Paula Ensor
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