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Eighth Edition of the Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa Brings the Bard to the Artscape and Baxter Stages in April and May

Eighth Edition of the Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa Brings the Bard to the Artscape and Baxter Stages in April and May
A host of young poeple at a previous edition of
the Shakespeare Schools Festival in South Africa

The eighth Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa (SSF SA) is taking place in Cape Town this April and May. The Shakespeare Schools Festival is Educape's flagship initiative, an education program that is aimed at improving language and social skills through the performing arts.

Launched in 2010 by Kseniya Filinova-Bruton, the Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa has the objective of strengthening the link between the arts and education. Since its inception, it has grown from an event that attracted 20 learners to drawing approximately 2000 youth across the Western Cape, Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape.

At the festival, schools prepare and perform 30-minute abridged versions of Shakespeare's plays. The Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa is an ideal way for young people seeking to explore their potential in a fun and developmental way, simultaneously making their theatre debut on a professional stage in a non-competitive environment.

Staging a Shakespeare play in a professional theatre is a challenge to be relished. The Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa is fully interactive, providing guidance and all the resources, including scripts, training and feedback, to equips learners and educators to direct and perform Shakespearean plays successfully from the first line to the final bow.

Schools taking part this year hail from all over the Western Cape Metropole, from as far afield as Hermanus. Exciting news is that the De La Bat School for the Deaf will make their stage debut with their version of ROMEO AND JULIET in South African Sign Language and the festival's outreach programme will extend into new communities such as Mitchells Plain and Manenberg for the first time.

Says Festival Managing and Creative Director Kseniya Filinova-Bruton, "Year after year it's been incredible to see the amazing, creative interpretations of Shakespeare's works. Mastering the skill to perform the Bard's plays is, in my opinion, a master class in acting. I always say to the learners - if you can conquer Shakespeare, you can overcome many other challenges!"

This is the eighth time that Artscape has hosted the the Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa and the third year that the event has been held at the Baxter. Performances, open to the public, are from 19 - 21 April at 19:00 at the Artscape Theatre, and 7 - 12 May at 19:00 at the Baxter Theatre, with bookings through Computicket and Webtickets respectively. Venues and dates for the other national legs of the festival include the Grahamstown Rhodes University from 22 - 24 August, the George Arts Theatre from 31 August - 3 September, the Durban Playhouse from 3 - 9 September and the Joburg Theatre from 4 - 8 September. For more information, email Educape.



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