Celebrating the Naledi TYA Winners

Assitej SA
06/19/2018 13:24:06

ASSITEJ SA congratulates the winners and all the nominees of the various Naledi awards that are focused on theatre for young audiences (TYA).

Last night’s 2018 Naledi Awards was a star-studded event and a glorious celebration of a diverse range of talented, creative individuals and teams that make up the contemporary South African performing arts scene.

In this frame, the often-invisible artists responsible for creating the first (and often the most lasting) impressions that audiences gain of the theatre were celebrated and awarded. ASSITEJ SA, the international association of theatre for children and young people, is proud to be associated with three awards at the Naledi Theatre Awards: Best Theatre Production for Children, Best Theatre Production for Young People (Age 13-17), and Best Performance in a Production for Young Audiences.

We celebrate Richard Antrobus and the team who contributed to the development of The Cloud Catcher, the production that won Best Theatre Production for Children. This production was developed as part of the ASSITEJ SA Inspiring a Generation programme which saw Richard Antrobus receive mentorship in the development of the production, as well as several showcasing opportunities, and the opportunity to network with international theatre-makers from across the globe, as part of the Next Generation programme at the ASSITEJ 19th World Congress, Cradle of Creativity in 2017. The production has been brought to life by a range of actresses that include Nolufefe Ntshuntshe, Asiphe Lili, Nieke Lombaard and Avril Cummins, who stepped into the solo performance at short notice, and now takes the production to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this July. The character is now called Emily, after Richard’s own daughter, who was born during the creative process, and first saw the production at 3 months old. This solo adventure fuses physical theatre with real-life ‘documentary’-style video footage, a simple yet creative set and a good dose of imagination. This clever blend of educational entertainment and whimsical fantasy delivers a strong message of hope, resilience and empowerment.

The winner of the Best Production for Young People (13-17) is Andre Stolz’s production of Onderwereld, a thought-provoking recreation of Fanie Viljoen’s novel about the internet underworld, and now a matric setwork, adapted for the stage with energy and creativity. This production has toured widely to schools as well as performing at festivals such as Red Fest, under the auspices of ASSITEJ SA. Andre Stolz' nuanced productions of Reza de Wet productions have toured to schools across the country and he has built a substantial repertoire of set-work productions to be proud of.

The third winner is Jaques da Silva, as Best Performer in a Production for Young Audiences, for his role in Taking Flight, a joint production of Hijinks Theatre and Zikka Zimba. This rollicking, inventive approach to the writings of Roald Dahl about his early life is a great vehicle for Jacques’ trademark physicality, his comedic flair and penchant for crazy, memorable characters. The production will also be travelling to the ASSITEJ Family Fare platform at the National Arts Festival, under the direction of Kirsten Harris.

What unites these very different winning productions is that they are all made by independent theatre makers, touring their work largely under the radar to festivals, schools and community spaces. ASSITEJ SA has worked hard to champion these kinds of works and to ensure their visibility, despite the fact that they are not running in major theatres. We believe that the impact of high quality theatre on children and young people is profound, and having accessibility to imaginative, creatively conceived, thoughtful productions does much to enrich the hearts and minds of young audiences.

We celebrate these courageous theatre makers who continue to make work for young audiences despite the great odds against them, and who bring so much pleasure and engagement to their young audiences.

We also celebrate the work of all the nominees for these awards, which includes the recently departed and much-mourned Francois Theron, Artistic Director of the National Children’s Theatre, for his beautiful production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

FOR BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN (Supported by Assitej SA) (Aged 0-12)
Cradle Under The Shade: Musical adviser - Andrew Duncan, artistic adviser - Phenye Modiane, prod. by Gauteng Opera
Rat Race Dir by Kyla Davis, prod by Well Worn Theatre Company
Seussical's Christmas Carol, written by Peter Bloedel, Dir. by Francois Theron, Prod by National Children's Theatre by Special arr. with Playscripts Inc
Taking Flight, Dir. by Kirsten Harris, Prod. by Zikka Zimba/ Hijinks Productions
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, written by C.S Lewis, Dir. by Francois Theron, Prod. by National Children's Theatre

FOR BEST PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES (Supported by Assitej SA) (Aged 13-17)
A Short Cut to A Short Life, Dir. by Siphumeze Khundayi Prod. by National Children's Theatre
Hamlet, Dir. by Fred Abrahamse, Prod. by Pieter Toerien, Abrahamse & Meyer production, written by William Shakespeare
Onderwêreld, Dir. by Andre Stolz, Prod. by Andre Stolz Productions
Plastocracy, Dir. by Kyla Davis, Prod. by Well Worn Theatre Company

Christopher van der Westhuizen, Onderwêreld, Prod. by Andre Stolz Productions, Dir. By Andre Stolz
Jaques De Silva, Taking Flight, Prod. by Zikka Zimba/ Hijinks Productions, Dir. By Kirsten Harris
Kgaogelo Monana, A Short Cut to A Short Life, Prod. by National Children's Theatre, Dir. by Siphumeze Khundayi
Nieke Lombard, Cloud Catcher, Prod. by Odd Body Theatre, Dir. by Richard Antrobus Tebogo Machaba, Taking Flight, Prod. by Zikka Zimba/ Hijinks Productions, Dir. by Kirsten Harris
Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri, Beneath African Skies, Prod. by Peoples Theatre, Dir. by Jill Girard & Keith Smith


ASSITEJ South Africa is a registered NPO (066-875), which operates as a networking platform for people working with or interested in theatre for children and young people. It aims to promote and foster high quality theatre for children and young people, to raise standards within the industry, to increase access and awareness, to develop and support artists working in the field, to be an advocate for the right of every child to arts education in schools, and to build relationships within the sector locally, nationally, across the continent and globally.

Members are present in all provinces and include actors, musicians, dancers, directors, choreographers, theatre educators, stage designers and dramatists, as well as theatre companies, organisations and institutions, critics and cultural journalists, cultural officers, amateur drama groups, organizers, societies and other networks.

ASSITEJ South Africa works to promote international awareness of South African theatre for children and young people, through networking, organising exchanges, touring performances, and by facilitating contacts. Members are given access to a global network of information about festivals, performances, courses and seminars all over the world, with the potential to participate in these activities. ASSITEJ SA was the proud host of the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival, Cradle of Creativity, in 2017.

ASSITEJ South Africa is generously supported by Rand Merchant Bank, Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, the Department of Basic Education, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), the HCI Foundation, and the City of Cape Town. Other funders, supporters and partners include and have included the National Lotteries Commission, the National Arts Council of South Africa, the Department of Arts and Culture, UNESCO IFCD, Buz Publicity, Splitbeam Gearhouse, Institut Francaise, Alliance Francaise, Africalia, Pro Helvetia, Goethe Institut, Government of Flanders, SIDA, The National School of the Arts, Artscape, Baxter Theatre, Theatre Arts Admin Collective, the National Arts Festival, the Distell Foundation, the Kids of the Cape, the Cape Tercentenary Foundation, CATHSSETA, Ruth & Anita Wise Trust, Lorenzo and Stella Chiappini Charitable Trust, Puppetry South Africa, The Arts and Culture Trust and Nedbank Arts Affinity, Copy Dog Productions, Mandela Bay Development Agency, Speeltheater Holland Studio, Bush Radio, FMR, and Cape Town Television. Account:
Yvette Hardie
021 822 0070
082 859 5635
Related Event:
Naledi Theatre Awards
Date: Monday, 25th May 2020