Young audience plays to receive mentorship

Assitej SA
02/26/2020 08:23:51

The ASSITEJ African Playwriting Competition nurtures new plays by South African and African writers that resonate strongly with young audiences 6-16.

The ASSITEJ African Playwriting Competition is now in its third iteration and has previously produced a number of excellent works that have gone on to be produced at major festivals and theatres, both locally and internationally. These include Lereko Mfono’s The Kids from Amandla Street, Jon Keevy’s The Underground Library, Koleka Putuma’s Mbuzeni and most recently Selloane Mokuku and Ginni Manning’s Dipalo, which is soon to be published.

The competition is part of a process of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) incubation by ASSITEJ SA that includes mentorship and other development processes for the selected writers, with staged readings and workshops at the ASSITEJ SA incubation festival, In the Works, in August 2020. The winning play will be performed at the Cradle of Creativity, a Biennial International Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences to be held at the Market theatre and other venues in August 2021.

ASSITEJ SA is able to provide exceptional mentorship from a host of international mentors with the support of the Write Local Play Global Network, and particularly, the John F Kennedy Centre’s New Visions/New Voices Festival programme in Washington DC, which has played a key role in past iterations.

This year’s mentorship team is headed up by Rives Collins, from North Western University, USA. He was honored with a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence Award at Northwestern University in 2017 and is an acclaimed professional storyteller (ORACLE AWARD, National Storytelling Network). He was present at the 2017 Cradle of Creativity where he presented a keynote address. He is an active professional stage director, specializing in the development of new work, particularly in theatre for young audiences. We are delighted to have his expertise and we know that the selected playwrights will receive a rigorous, supportive and nurturing experience under his guidance.

We are also delighted to announce that Karin Serres, celebrated French TYA playwright and designer, will be holding a series of workshops for the playwrights during the In the Works Festival, with the support of the Institute Francaise of South Africa (IFAS).

This year’s competition saw 40 plays submitted from South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, USA, London, Botswana and Nigeria. The shortlisted plays for mentorship towards the In the Works Festival, are:
- Jade Beeby with First (South Africa)
- Maimouna Jallow with Water No Get Enemy (Kenya)
- Siphumeze Khundayi with #StrangerThings (South Africa)
- Katlego Kolanyan-Kesupile with Mosha and the Race to Save Tomorrow (Botswana)
- Modisana Mabale with Lehe la Kganyapa (South Africa)
- Zinhle Mbokane with Tokologo – the musical garment (South Africa)
- Lereko Mfono with Little Fist, Big Heart! (South Africa)
- Mathabo Tlali with Wanda’s WANDAful Coils (South Africa)
- Uvile Ximba with Blue Days (South Africa)
- Sanelisiwe Yekani with Zwelitsha (South Africa)

It is significant that this announcement comes as we move towards the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People, which is celebrated by ASSITEJ members in more than 100 countries across the globe on 20th March each year. We look forward to developing this exciting new work and hopefully to seeing full productions on stages in time, as we all strive to “Take a Child to the Theatre Today” so they can see, hear, feel, think and imagine!

If you would like to contribute to the work of ASSITEJ in ensuring that more children have access to quality theatre experiences, go here:

About ASSITEJ South Africa

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 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 South Africa has been generously supported by the National Lottery Commission, Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, the National Arts Council of South Africa, Rand Merchant Bank and the HCI Foundation. Other funders, supporters and partners include UNESCO IFCD, the DG Murray Trust, the Distell Foundation, Business and the Arts South Africa, the City of Cape Town, the Department of Arts and Culture, the Government of Flanders, the Goethe Institut, Institut Francaise, Alliance Francaise, The Royal Netherlands Embassy, the Dutch Performing Arts, the Cape Tercentenary Foundation, Buz Publicity, Splitbeam Gearhouse, Copy Dog, Theatre Arts Admin Collective, the National Arts Festival, KKNK, Puppetry South Africa, The National School of the Arts, The Arts and Culture Trust and Nedbank Arts Affinity, Africalia, Tullow Oil, Pro Helvetia, SIDA, Bush Radio, FMR and Cape Town Television. Account:
Akhona Jolingana
ASSITEJ South Africa
087 222 7983
082 859 5635