The 14th Annual Shakespeare Schools Festival Gets Underway In May

The event takes place from 8 to 27 May 2024 at the Star Theatre at the District Six Homecoming Centre in Cape Town. 

By: Apr. 16, 2024
The 14th Annual Shakespeare Schools Festival Gets Underway In May
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The 14th Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa (SSFSA) takes place from 8 to 27 May 2024 at the Star Theatre at the District Six Homecoming Centre in Cape Town. 

Audiences can expect three weeks of bite-sized Shakespeare plays as talented participants in and around Cape Town, George and Durban showcase abridged 30-to-40-minute plays of their choice, in innovative and inspiring ways. From Othello to Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet to A Midsummer Nights Dream and more, imaginations run wild, and the sky is the limit. 

This year, in its longest season to date, the SSFSA will welcome 42 schools and drama groups to the stage, inviting them to embrace and explore the rich tapestry of Africa's culture, uniqueness and diversity as they unlock Shakespeare's tales, one story at a time. 

"Shakespeare's stories are our stories,” says SSFSA founder Kseniya Filinova "and this year's theme opens up so many ways to share Shakespeare's works and reach even more new audiences.”  The festival opens up a world of possibilities where various performance methods are encouraged alongside the spoken word, including dance, physical theatre, song and more, so that the stage becomes a canvas for self-expression where everyone has a voice.

Under the 2024 theme ‘Liberating Our Histories', the SSFSA will embark on a journey of cultural reclamation in honour of  the rich tapestry of African heritage.  This year's festival is not just about Shakespeare but about the stories, experiences and voices of Africa and as always participants are encouraged to explore the timeless narratives found within Shakespeare's works while reimagining them in the vibrant, modern context and putting their unique stamp on each production.

Inclusion, diversity and accessibility has always been at the heart of the festival and one of the ways this is demonstrated is through the translation of Shakespeare's works into various African languages such as Tsonga, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu among others.

Since inception in 2009 the SSFSA has grown into Africa's largest youth drama event that focuses solely on Shakespeare plays. Over the years the festival has worked with 13558 learners from 736 schools and supported 926 teachers in their capacity as drama and performance arts directors. The SSFSA is a novel way for young thespians to discover their dramatic potential non-competitively and in a fun, developmental way. Learning life skills is part of the experience too as the festival spotlights literacy, classic literature within the live theatre space. In the lead-up to the event the SSFSA also offers training programs for teachers, learner directors and casts in preparation for their performances onstage. 

The 14th Shakespeare Schools Festival SA is at the Star Theatre at the District Six Homecoming Centre from 8 to 27 May 2024 with tickets costing R140 per person or R99 per person for group bookings of ten or more, all through Webtickets. 

After the Cape Town leg, the festival picks up in Johannesburg from 3 to 8 September, in George from 12 to 15 September and in Durban from 23 to 28 September 2024. For further details please email


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