JUSTMEN Returns To The Baxter For A Limited Season This July

JUSTMEN Returns To The Baxter For A Limited Season This July

Following the overwhelming success of #JustMen last year - tackling the scourge of violence against women and children and toxic masculinity - the second instalment, takes this urgent conversation to the next level, at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, for a limited season, from 17 July to 3 August, at 7.30pm. There are three selected schools' matinee performances.

In a post #MeToo movement world, the return of #JustMen, made possible through funding from the City of Cape Town, hopes to further the discussion and bring healing to help turn the tide on this scourge, that continues to hit staggering and unacceptable proportions, as it tears families and communities apart.

Directed by Heinrich Reisenhofer (Joe Barber, Suip!), this latest production sees the return of Loukmaan Adams (Aunty Merle, The Musical, Kat and the Kings) and Thando Doni (Ityala Lamwele, Ubuze Bam). They are joined by Peter Christians, a reformed convict and rap artist who now works as a facilitator in conflict resolution for the Alternatives to Violence Project and gives talks to youth at risk. Together, the cast and team have devised and revised the play through a rigorous research and workshop process.

#JustMen is an honest and empowering, multi-lingual docudrama, performed by South African men who tell their own stories and confront their own toxic masculinity, as a contributing factor in the violence perpetuated against women and children.

Director Reisenhofer explains, "This was probably one of the most difficult experiences these actors and I have ever gone through - to be willing to stare this legacy in the face and own it. The result was an overwhelmingly stirring and sometimes, shocking, but healing theatre experience. It changed and shifted the lives of so many people who saw the production. Since then I have had many people come up to me, telling me how hearing our stories - through this experience - brought closure to their own trauma. Inspiring them to take action and get involved in making a difference."

He continues, "so many men shared with me, their struggle of wanting to be better and more caring men, but they find that there is no place to realise this. We still live in a violent and angry society with Little Room and few incentives for men to do inner work or have a different way of being. My invitation is to come and experience this next important conversation of #JustMen, get personally involved in your own healing process, and make a difference for other men. We have an opportunity this time to take action."

For the past eight years Reisenhofer's personal journey has taken him into the arena of healing and personal transformation work where he has been training and working as a coach and facilitator. In his coaching, he specialises in shame and shadow work guiding participants to forgive, break the old patterns of behaviour and take charge of their biographical storytelling - it's all about learning to heal one's particular narrative. This came out of his own healing process where he needed to deal with his relationships and his own shame as a man that he carried from childhood.

Much of the success of the debut production last year, was that the work and the actors did not judge audience members. It challenged men to take collective ownership and created a space which strongly encouraged interactive discussions and engagement, after each performance for both male and female audience members in separate venues.

The Saturday Argus said, "It should be taken to schools and theatres nationally" and WeekendSpecial described it as "a show that needs to be seen ... It is essential."

Now, a year later gender-based violence is still pervasive and prevalent, and more relevant than ever. By way of conversation and introspection the cast of #JustMen ask the question: "What needs to happen for men to truly heal and change?"

This production will continue those post-performance discussions, with the focus on individual and collective healing, slowly building a healthier society.

As an added support this season will offer a series of workshops for men, led by skilled community leaders from gender-based organisations, on 20 July, 27 July and 3 August. They will unpack masculinity in a safely held space where men can come to share and process their own stories and experience its transformative power. Details of these workshops will follow soon.

#JustMen runs at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from 17 July to 3 August at 7.30pm nightly, with three school's matinee performances on Thursday 25 July at 11am, Tuesday 30 July at 11am and Thursday 1 August at 11am.

There is an age restriction of 13 years and high schools are encouraged to be part of this journey by bringing along their learners to be part of the process.

Ticket prices are R120, R100 for block bookings of 10 or more and R80 for scholars and students. Booking is through Webtickets on 086 111 0005, online atwww.webtickets.co.za or at Pick n Pay stores. For discounted group or block-bookings contact Leon van Zyl on 021 680 3972 or email him atleon.vanzyl@uct.ac.za.



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