Here are the 10 scripts selected from Klein Karoo National Arts Festival for further development

By CityLIfe Arts Writer

Ten scripts have been selected for further development following the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival’s (KKNK) seventh Teksmark.

 Teksmark was presented at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town from 24 to 26 August and could be attended by interested parties free of charge. 22 playwrights presented their script ideas and 90 actors and directors participated to present excerpts from the scripts as play readings.

 Fahiem Stellenboom, Marketing Manager of the Baxter Theatre, mentioned during the event that Karatara by Wilken Calitz and Shaun Oelf, presented on the Teksmark stage three years ago, is a wonderful example of the success of this project. “Following Karatara’s run at the KKNK, where it received the Kanna for Best Debut, it recently returned to the Baxter Theatre, for a short season. We are very proud to be associated with this production and project.” (Karatara will be on the stage at the Woordfees from 10 to 16 October.)

Hugo Theart, Artistic Director of the KKNK, confirmed that bursaries for playwrights valued at R150 000 – funded by the Nasionale Afrikaanse Teaterinisiatief (NATi) and the KKNK – were awarded to eight scripts. “Furthermore, we are proud to present a run at the KKNK and Suidoosterfees to one script and to record another script as full-length playreading.”

 “Teksmark began as a small project and has started to feel like a festival that built its own audiences over the past seven years. It became a family with new members joining annually. A project like Teksmark is not possible without the support of partners like NATi and the Baxter Theatre, as well as other development partners including festivals, theatres, The Playwright’s Laboratory, Suidoosterfees, the Jakes Gerwel Foundation and the Het Jan Marais Nationale Fonds. We are truly grateful for their support and cooperation.”

 Six scripts presented at the 2022 Teksmark were selected for further development. Mikayla Joy Brown’s Jantjies and the Pearls receives a run at the KKNK and the Suidoosterfees in 2023 and bursaries to complete their scripts were awarded to five scripts: Philip Theron for Babilon, Babilon, Henriëtta Gryffenberg and Alby Michaels for 1, Wessel Pretorius for Kamermusiek, Anele Kose for Mhla ndiqala idibana naye and Louw Venter for Albatros.

 Four scripts from Teksmark 2021 have also been selected for further development. Marí Borstlap receives a bursary to complete her script Koning van die Diereriem. Nisa Smit receives a bursary to translate her script Nipped in the butt to Afrikaans, as well as Michaela Weir for her script What happens in Russia … Philip Theron’s Die kontemporêre kuns komplot is recorded as full-length play reading by The Playwright’s Laboratory (TPL). TPL is a new initiative that offers an online platform for playwrights to share their work with an international audience.

 Daniel Galloway, Producer of TPL, says they are excited to record Theron’s new script as play reading, in collaboration with Teksmark. “At TPL we provide our members and partners with a secure platform to share and view filmed readings of new works, in an effort to connect these brilliant new plays with potential producing partners from around the world.”

 Cornelia Faasen, CEO of NATi, says there is a good reason why various role-players view Teksmark as the highlight of the theatre year. “This year both new and established playwrights surprised us once again. For as long as writers are eager to tell their stories, NATi and the KKNK will ensure that Teksmark continues to grow. We are excited about the possibilities arising from this year’s project: new voices, new ideas and loads of talent!”

 Teksmark creates an informal platform for playwrights to present their script ideas, followed by an excerpt as play reading. This is followed by a discussion with input from role-players and the audience. “Various playwrights participated at Teksmark for the first time this year and some of them presented their first script,” Theart says.

 All sessions of this year’s Teksmark are available to view on the KKNK’s website at Wine was sponsored by Protea Wines for the duration of Teksmark.

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