Call for 'Masidlale: Exploring Connection'

Assitej SA
06/15/2020 14:09:34

ASSITEJ SA in partnership with Drama for Life presents: The 12th Drama for Life Conference and Festival, ‘Masidlale: Exploring Connection’.

ASSITEJ South Africa is collaborating with Drama for Life in hosting an exciting, innovative and relevant ‘conference and festival’ to explore the current Arts landscape right now in the time of COVID 19, with support from the National Lotteries Commission of South Africa for the In the Works festival elements.

In response to the global pandemic, Drama For Life (DFL) and ASSITEJ South Africa invite participants to a new play space for finding ourselves in the here and now, an intergenerational collaborative exploration with students, learners, children, artists, facilitators, young academics and DFL alumni and staff, where everyone is invited to share and be included with equity.

This explorative co-created space will be a research generating opportunity which will seek to capture the processes of young artists creating, connecting and making Art in this time. The space will give priority and focus to the youth, while showcasing their creativity with and for children and the wider community of South Africa.

The Conference and Festival investigates the fundamental questions of:

“Masidlale: Exploring Connection”

- How do we play, explore and co-create now?

- How can the Arts respond to disconnection?

- How do we ‘come together’ to create during this time?

- How can theatre be reimagined as a place for healing and connection?

- Who are our collaborators and how do we journey together?

The Conference and Festival will take place online and will include the following: Zoom conversations, online creative experiments, panel conversations, online/virtual performances, and discussions, and play readings from the ASSITEJ SA ‘In the Works,’ platform.

‘In the Works’ is an initiative that seeks to develop new African theatre pieces made especially for children and young people through a combination of international mentorship and direct engagement with the intended audience/s. ASSITEJ SA has developed a number of plays through this process in the past, as part of the incubation towards the Cradle of Creativity (the first of which was also the ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival, held in 2017), a biennial, migratory festival of theatre and performing arts for young audiences which will be hosted again in August 2021 in Gauteng. Playwrights such as Koleka Putuma, Elliot Moleba, Lereko Mfono, Jon Keevy, Selloane Mokuku and others have used the incubation process to develop work that has featured at the Cradle of Creativity festival. This year’s exciting crop of ten writers were selected down from over 40 applicants and come from all over South Africa, as well as from Botswana and Kenya. Writers are: Jade Beeby, Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile, Lereko Mfono, Maimouna Jallow, Mathabo Tlali, Modisana Mabale, Sanelisiwe Yekani, Siphumeze Khundayi, Uvile Ximba and Zinhle Mbokane. The project is supported by the National Lotteries Commission of South Africa and the City of Johannesburg.

We are also looking forward to hosting Karin Serres, French playwright, and dramaturg, and Rives Collins, USA playwright, storyteller and theatre professor, as part of the conversations, along with some of the international mentors who have been working with the playwrights. Karin Serres’ participation in the In the Works is supported by IFAS (French Institute of South Africa).

ASSITEJ SA and Drama for Life are excited about showcasing innovative and relevant ideas, dialogues, and collaborative projects, which reach out and make connections in this unprecedented time. We invite applications for creating, reimagining, and finding new ways to currently navigate the Arts landscape during the time of COVID 19.

For the full call, please see the Drama for Life website:

Deadline for submission: 20 July 2020

CONFERENCE DATES: 20-24 August 2020

For any further queries about the conference please contact:
Zanele Bhengu: Account:
Akhona Jolingana
021 822 0070/1/2
082 859 5635