UCT to Host Five Productions in 2014's FRESH FROM FEST


FRESH FROM FEST is a theatre festival showcasing the Western Cape's best student theatre, fresh off the Grahamstown National Arts Festival circuit. Each institution prepares a production for Grahamstown, and FRESH FROM FEST is Cape Town's opportunity to see the students' work. Five outstanding productions will be hosted by UCT at this year's festival. Audiences will have the opportunity to see works by the University of Cape Town, Waterfront Theatre School, University of the Western Cape, AFDA and CityVarsity. FRESH FROM FEST is a fantastic opportunity for fellow students to meet, share in each other's work, dialogue, broaden their audience base and for audiences to see a variety of new work and up-and-coming artists.

The University of Cape Town's production, UHM, takes a look at the string of problems South Africa's history of colonialism has left its wake. Director Koleka Putuma and writers Callum Tilbury and Alex McCarthy have put together a madscape collision between history and the present, the unconscious and the real world, where historical figures do battle over the soul of a young black woman. Winnter of the Award for Best Student Theatre Writing, UHM featers design by Jason Jacobs and Kathleen Stephens and is supervised by leacturers, Mark Fleishman and Clare Stopford.

The Waterfront Theatre School will present ADAM AND EVE: THE MUSICAL, directed by Paul Griffiths. Written by Ben Hales, with musical arrangements by Jaco Griessel, this smash hit from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a tongue-in-cheek look at our beginnings and a contemporary exploration of how best to ensure a happy ending.

The University of the Western Cape's production is SISTER SISTER SISTER, directed by Nicole Fortuin under the supervision of lectuer, Mary Hames.Through dialogue, movement, poetry and song, this production ponders whether sisterhood is the same now as it was for our mothers and grandmothers. Fluctuating between humour and seriousness, SISTER SISTER SISTER explores whether technology and lifestyle have changed the way women of today look at themselves and each other and whether sisterhood really exists or if it is a myth.

Directed by Anica Grobbelaar, AFDA will present CIRCLES OF DISCONNECT under the supervision of lecturer, Caroline Duck. This play explores the true meaning of connection through a multimedia platform, bringing the world of media is to the stage in an innovative collaboration. Two friends take in a stranger and together they go on a disconnected journey through an ironically connected society. The cast includes Liza Scholtz, Nicole Duddy and Robert-John Deetleefs and takes a look at a world where you are only someone if you exist online and where you are connected to a world where everyone is disconnected.

TRIGGER HAPPY TALE is CityVarsity's production for this year. Under the supervision of lectuer, Mark Hoeben, the piece takes you inside the minds of those who dare to contemplate the life beyond the one we have. Presented through a fairy-tale combination of images, flashbacks and monologues, the play questions the events and thoughts that might lead a young person to consider the end. Directed by Matthew Hendricks, the cast includes Estee Lauren Claasen, Geralt Cloete, Sibongile Dlamini, Hannah Gillitt, Linda Mgadi, Paige de la Harpe, Karabo Monnathebe and Kayla Pienaar

Complementing this lineup, the theme for this year's Festival is networking, with a focus on allowing aspiring artists to make new friends and contacts in this volatile industry. All participating students will be encouraged to meet each other, socialise, discuss their time in Grahamstown and engage in conversation about the different works they are presenting. To aid this process, there will be an opening function, a Cocktail Meet and Greet, to kick off the Festival on Monday 21 July at 19:00. Each institution also will engage in a Q&A session and panel discussion with audience members after one of their performances. The schedule of performances and panel discussions, with each evening kicking off at 19:00 and the Saturday programme starting at 13:00, is as follows:

21 July: Cocktail Meet and Greet; ADAM AND EVE, followed by panel discussion.
22 July: ADAM AND EVE; SISTER SISTER SISTER, followed by panel discussion.
23 July: SISTER SISTER SISTER; CIRCLES OF DISCONNECT, followed by panel discussion.
24 July: CIRCLES OF DISCONNECT, followed by a karaoke jam session
25 July: UHM; TRIGGER HAPPY TALE, followed by panel discussion.
26 July: TRIGGER HAPPY TALE; UHM, followed by panel discussion and an awards ceremony

Reservations for all the shows can be made through the Little Theatre office by contacting Nabeelah Khan (littlebookings@gmail.com / 021 480 7129), but all payments are to be made in cash at the door on the night of the performance. Tickets cost R30. Follow FRESH FROM FEST on Facebook.

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