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Suidoosterfees High School Drama Festival Winners to appear on Suidooster Soapie

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The 2021 High School Drama Festival was initiated and coordinated by Artscape in partnership with the Suidoosterfees as part of the building’s 50-year celebrations.

This year's best actor (Zander) and actress (Elzaan) will be honoured with guest appearances on Suidooster (TV soapie on kykNET) while the entire cast of Hoërskool Martin Oosthuizen (voted best production) will get another chance to perform to the public at the Suidoosterfees in April/May 2022. These were just some of the exciting surprise announcements made at this year's Artscape-Suidoosterfees High School Drama Festival.

Zander Oberholster, a Grade 9 pupil from Hoërskool Martin Oosthuizen made the journey with his team all the way from Kakamas, Northern Cape Province to take part in the festival and ultimately scooped three of the six awards which were up for grabs: best actor, best script and best production.

"This is a big surprise, but a great feeling knowing that somebody recognizes your talent because the character I portray (Bucie) is that of a boy with autism which was quite difficult to try and understand why he behaves the way he does", says Zander. "The stage is a huge learning experience for me but because of my love and passion for acting and all the wonderful people I've met from diverse backgrounds, that made it even more enjoyable for me", concludes Zander who was also awarded best actor at the most recently held ATKV Free State Drama Festival. Being in his first year taking part in drama productions at a school that does not offer the subject is evident enough of his natural talent.

Elzaan Daniels, a Grade 12 learner from Hoërskool Jan Van Riebeeck who walked away with award for best actress could not hold back on her excitement while also conceding how dreamlike it feels to perform on a big stage and reaping the benefits thereof.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity and feel absolutely blessed to have participated in the festival to be able to tell our story in front of a live audience because all we wanted was for someone to see us and feel something", says Elzaan. "Although my team and I put in a lot of work, I was not expecting such recognition, and this truly fills my heart and cannot wait to feature on Suidooster", alluded Elzaan.

Said Suidooster executive producer Jaco Loubser: "It remains an incredible honour to support Suidoosterfees (and Artscape) in its development programmes. This High School Drama Festival proffers Suidooster the opportunity to assist with the mentorship and identification of such fresh young talent. Year upon year we remain astounded at the quality of the entrants, while the passion and dedication that the participating schools and learners apply deserves a rousing round of applause".

The six finalist schools, selected from entries across the province and beyond, spent two action-packed days, presenting their extraordinary drama projects to a panel of adjudicators, aimed at broadening their skills from 15 - 16 October.

The 2021 High School Drama Festival was initiated and coordinated by Artscape in partnership with the Suidoosterfees as part of the building's 50-year celebrations. The festival is a catalyst for young people to express themselves creatively how they see South Africa and Africa and to engage with each other across cultural barriers, language and geographical areas, to start to build an understanding of the environment they live in.

The benefits of participating in the Competition are numerous and on-going. Schools become hubs of sustainable learning as they are given a platform to voice their own creativity, views and concerns to a captive audience while they also get an opportunity to broaden their horizons by experiencing the magic of live theatre, lights, sound and an audience.

The awards prize monies were sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Arts, Culture & Sport; City of Cape Town, The Jakes Gerwel Trust, NATi (Nasionale Afrikaanse Teater-Inisiatief) and kykNET.


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