Theatre celebrates Youth Month

Thakgatso Setseta

In June 1976, African youth protested against apartheid, the quest for equal education their driving force. 

  About 40 years later (2015-16); post-democracy youth reignited that quest with the #FeesMustFall movements.

  In commemoration of the youth of June 1976 and 2015/16; the theatre will stream youthful productions from 15 June to 5 July 2020. 

  Many of these productions are annual programmes from the Incubator Programme through the Education, Youth & Community Training Department of SAST, designed to accelerate successful transition of semi-professional entrepreneurial artists through business, technical and artistic mentorship.

  The theatre has programmed; Freedom the Musical, a ground-breaking musical by the State Theatre’s Artistic Director and multi-award-winning playwright, Aubrey Sekhabi. A strong cast of 47 members and a 13-piece band tell the story of Phindile Ndlovu, a Tshwane University of Technology student and leader of #Fees Must Fall movement. 

  Phindile’s life takes a sharp turn after the student protest at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. This story is a testament to her determination to triumph, despite the odds stacked against her. 

  She will stop at nothing to fight for the freedom of students, for free education and ultimately her own freedom. Freedom also examines crime and violence that is rife in our modern-day society, and tackles issues of rape, abuse against women, racism, xenophobia, corruption, and many more that cost us our freedom. The play premiered at the State Theatre in 2018.

  The critically acclaimed play, The Fall will be headlining to also commemorate Youth Month this June. It was created by seven University of Cape Town’s Drama Graduates who were at the forefront of the movement. They share their personal experiences during the #RhodesMustFall, #FeesMustFall and subsequent student movements that swept South Africa during 2015 and 2016.

  A visual art exhibition doccie; Artdiction 0.1 by Anathi Nkanyuza is also featured in the programme. The smoke artist Nkanyuza, affectionately known as Elpee, with his rare visual art technique exhibited under the Incubator Programme at State Theatre in 2018 and Mzansi Fela Festival in 2019. 

  Using only a candle and paraffin lamp, he applies fire and smoke on paper to turn pieces of colour into something the world has never seen before. 

  Elpee was selected by the theatre to showcase his installation at the 2019 National Arts Festival, held in Makhanda.

  Torsten Tebogo Rybka, known on stage as Clear as Fire, brings a poetry production; Speaking from Experience, a journey on the wings of poetry and music.The production is described as an emotional journey of awareness.

  As part of the Youth Month celebration, Salt Art of the Earth exhibition by the Guinness record holder, Percy Maimela and Ncamisa Nqana A Bird with Melodies jazz performance, are currently showing on The South African State Theatre You Tube channel until 07 and 13 June respectively.

  All these productions will be streamed on YouTube. Viewers are encouraged to subscribe to theatre’s YouTube channel on the link

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