13th Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa Opens Today In Cape Town

The festival will take place over three weeks from May 8 to 27, 2023.

'THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL Star Belinda Davids Returns To Joburg Theatre

The 13th Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa (SSFSA) opens tonight (8 May 2023) at the Star Theatre at the District Six Homecoming Centre in Cape Town.

The organisers have announced the festivals longest season yet, taking place over three weeks from May 8 to 27, 2023. This will mark the third time that the SSFSA has taken place at this wonderful venue situated in the historical heart of Cape Town.

With 38 confirmed groups performing the Bard's works over 17 days, this years fest - themed Unplugged and Illuminated in 2023! - will once again light up the stage as the SSFSA showcases burgeoning young South African talent. Says festival founder and CEO Kseniya Filinova-Bruton, "As a team, we are passionate about building optimism especially post-pandemic, to share hope for the future in what many find to be an unsettling time. The SSFSA is a catalyst for youth empowerment and over more than a decade we have developed a non-competitive, fully inclusive environment where school-going youth can build confidence, improve on life skills and have their voices are heard, acknowledged, encouraged, challenged and respected." Importantly too, the festival welcomes Learners with different abilities and physical challenges such as the De La Bat School for the Deaf and the Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired who, like their peers, continue to deliver ground-breaking and Moving Theatre year after year.

One of the unique aspects of this fest is that the Shakespeare plays are no more than 30 minutes in duration. The full range of Shakespeare plays is on offer with texts also available in isiXhosa, isiZulu and Afrikaans, and Learners let their imaginations run wild, innovating wonderfully with their own props, costumes, sets and interpretations. " We love how casts turn a play on its head and 'own', always thinking out the box!" says Managing Director Blythe Stuart-Linger. Young people have reported coming out of the festival experience with improved soft skills and many have also reported a better understanding of the English language, which empowers them to walk into their exams more confidently!

Throughout the preparation process, the SSFSA team is also on hand to assist with scripts, acting and directing tips with a number of educational programs established in the lead-up, to benefit educators, learner-directors and casts.

The SSFSA has grown into Africa's largest youth drama festival event with a purely Shakespeare focus. Across the provinces - the Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape - 29,578 audiences have watched 582 plays by 661 schools performed by 12,435 Learners, since 2009. The festival has also built the capacity of 693 teachers as drama and performance art directors, and worked with 43 guest and student directors and 38 volunteer directors and facilitators. At one stage the festival was presented in other countries as well such as Malawi, Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia.

All further info is on www.ssfsa.co.za | https://www.ssfsa.co.za/how-it-works/ . After the Cape Town season, the festival will be presented in Johannesburg, George and KZN in September 2023, details to be announced.

Performances start at 7:30pm and tickets costing R110pp, available through Quicket: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/211809-shakespeare-schools-festival-south-africa-cape-town-2023/#/ @ssfsa


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The Ndlovu Youth Choir Embarks on Tour of South Africa

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