CityLife Arts

State Theatre unveils new season of online shows

By CityLife Arts Writer

More and more arts institutions and organisations are increasingly using new technology platforms to continue engaging with their audiences during this time of lockdown and social distancing.

The National Arts Festival whose programming was supposed to end this past weekend has extended the festival until July 16, and audiences can continue to enjoy the festival online until then.

Now with uncertainty of when theatre doors will re-open, the South African State Theatre (SAST) continues to keep its audiences engaged through its growing online theatre platform (#SASTOnlineTheatre)- Its jam-packed line-up in season 3 billed for this July and August 2020.

Programmed to cater for all theatrical taste buds, from children’s theatre and comedy, to drama and dance, everyone can dive in and nibble on the feast.

The season will also feature a virtual masterclass by veteran playwright, director and actor, Percy Mtwa on 17 and 18 July. The class will follow a discussion about THE STATE OF SA THEATRE IN THE 70s AND 80s. It will be streamed on both YouTube and Facebook platforms. Productions that are lined up include:

That Night

That Night of Trance | Drama |19 July-9 August

When a city girl named Puleng (played by Standing Ovation Award Winner Segametsi Gaobepe) is haunted by an ancestral calling, she is caught between continuing living the city life and heeding the call. Written and directed by seasoned playwright Ntshieng Mokgoro, That Night of Trance fuses music composed and directed by a member of The Soil acapella group, Ntsika Ngxanga, to blend with choreography of the talented Phuthi Teresa Mojela. Mokgoro says the story introspects and traces how “BLACK, WOKE YOUNG WOMEN” are facing an identity crisis. “The play aims to revive the confidence of these women in a harsh environment, both from rural and urban areas and encourages them to be proud of who they are and embrace their culture and Tradition.”

An Elephant

An Elephant’s Dream| Children’s Theatre|19 July- 9 August

Deception befalls the jungle during a drought in this children’s musical theatre production titled An Elephant’s Dream. Apparently, Mr. Elephant had a dream about Mr. Swallow praying for rain, hoping for the drought to end. He shares the dream with his friend Tholo, who would later present it to the Lion, King of the jungle, and claim it to be his. The dream becomes a reality from the work written and directed by the passionate children’s theatre storyteller Shala Chokwe.

Trafficked

Trafficked | Dance |21 July- 9 August

As part of his feature in SAST’s 2018/19 Incubator Programme season, Pretoria based dancer and choreographer, Yusef Thomas, assembles a group of capable dancers to expose human trafficking in both the African and global context. The work is titled Trafficked. Patriarchy, cyber dating, and the old traditional custom of ‘Ukuthwala,’are some of topics which Thomas employs for this thematic dance piece. He does this while creating an allegory between different modes of transportation to the nature in which trafficked victims are treated and sold across the globe.

Koekeloer

Koekeloer | Comedy| 20-July- 9 August

Marie Coleské, a spinster from Koekenaap, and Marié Kok, a lingerie model from Ruimsig, are booked into the same flat in Stellenbosch, where they have to battle it out during the final round of the popular kykNET Koekedoor reality show. The two finalists are hilariously devious but cooking hot in their bake-off to stardom. Written by Braam van der Vyver, winner of the Nagtegaal award, Koekeloer! is a brand new, highly original South African farce, guaranteed to have the local audience in stitches.

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