The 10th Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa Celebrates 10 Years And A New Association With The Fugard Theatre
2020 marks the Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa's 10th anniversary, a remarkable milestone. From March 3 to 14, the first round of the annual festival in the Western Cape will be taking place at the Fugard Theatre, one of the Mother City's most iconic theatre venues that will also be celebrating its first decade this year, and this prestigious association is an invaluable one for the SSFSA. For the first time since the festivals inception in 2010, the initial performance showcase will be longest yet, taking place over eleven days straight with 34 schools participating from Cape Town and surrounds, including suburbs like Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Westlake, Delft, Bishop Lavis, Pinelands, Athlone, Claremont, Zonnebloom, Wynberg, Swartland, Hermanus, Strand, Hout Bay, Stellenbosch and Worcester. Other cities the festival will tour to up until September 2020 include Johannesburg, Durban, George and Makhanda.
The Shakespeare School's Festival (SSFSA) is defined as an educational program aimed at improving language and social skills through the Performing Arts and the SSFSA prides itself on being a fully inclusive event that welcomes all Learners without prejudice, including those facing different abilities and challenges. In previous festivals the De La Bat School for the Deaf (using South African Sign Language) and the Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired delivered ground breaking and extremely moving renditions of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth respectively.
The SSFSA, pioneered by its Founder, Kseniya Filinova-Bruton from Educape, has a main objective which is to strengthen the link between the Arts and education. The festival has grown from an event with 20 participants to one that attracts more than 2000 youth each year across the Western Cape, Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape and that number is growing every year.
Staging a Shakespeare play in a professional theatre is a challenge to be relished, and the SSF SA is an ideal way for young people to explore their potential in a fun, developmental way, simultaneously making their theatre debut on a professional stage in a non-competitive environment. Schools prepare and perform 30-minute abridged versions of the Shakespeare play of their choice and their bonsai interpretations are incredible. Throughout the preparation process, the SSFSA also provides guidance and resource through scripts, training, frame work and feedback that equips Learners and Educators to successfully direct and perform their Shakespearean plays from the first line to the final bow.
The Shakespeare Schools Festival at the Fugard Theatre runs from March 3 to 14, 2020. Performances start at 7pm and tickets are now available through 0214614554 and www.thefugard.com.