From Shakespeare to Kente at NSA Festival


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From 6-10 March 2019, the Joburg Theatre and the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein will be home to NSA’s Festival of the Arts.


Gibson Kente’s Too Late headlines a compelling programme of theatre, dance and visual arts. Directed by Makhaola Ndebele with designs by Sarah Roberts and featuring a live NSA band, the dramatic, at times humorous Too Late opens a heart-breaking window onto mid-70’s South Africa Soweto. “It is a significant choice for 2019 as South Africa reflects on 25 years of democracy and the NSA marks 50 years of being at the forefront of specialist arts education,” said Gary Natali, Principal of South Africa’s leading school of specialisation in performing and creative arts – the NSA. “The learners are dedicated to the task at hand. They are inspiring and inspired, and I know that their talent and commitment will move the audiences,” he concluded.

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The evocatively titled Bridges & Arches is the 2019 edition of the NSA ’s popular Dance Spectrum and features the work of four leading female choreographers: Kitty Phetla (the recipient of the 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance), Shanell Winlock-Pailman, Nadine Buys and Rosana Maya. Bridges & Arches sees the dancers seamlessly bridging the space between the stylistic demands of four different choreographers journeying from contemporary to neo-classical, from ballet to flamenco and back again. The arch represents a constant motion of moving forward and embracing new perspectives and opportunities.

Renaissance drama meets Generation Z in the reimagined A Midsummer Night’s Dream giving credence to Ben Jonson’s claim that Shakespeare was “not of an age but for all time.” Adapted and directed by Johan Anker and Laine Butler the creative team behind the critically acclaimed Afro-Punk Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is set in an urban plastic jungle that reflects both attitudes and materials and plays in the more intimate Fringe at the Joburg Theatre.

The gripping play, Evil, deals with the abusive and oppressive world of institutionalised bullying and features award-winning actor Jaques de Silva in a powerful tour de force solo performance. Produced by the NSA and directed by Laine Butler and Mike da Silva, this startling work was adapted and translated by Jens Svane Boutrup from the 1981 bestselling semi-autobiographical book by the acclaimed novelist Jan Guillou. Bullying remains a heart-breaking scourge in our schools and workplace. The stage adaptation was voted one of the top productions of the Imaginate Youth Festival in Edinburgh in 2016 and 2017 by a jury of teenagers and offers an invaluable reflection for high school learners.

On Wednesday 6 March the NSA is proud to be partnering with Ticket to the Moon and CH2 in presenting Guitar Wizards and the extraordinarily talented Polish teenager Marcin Patrzalek. The Festival is offering a guitar workshop which starts at 15:00 and a special Festival evening performance of Guitar Wizards in the NSA main Hall at 19:00. The line-up will also showcase the leading guitarists from the NSA. This workshop demonstration and performance is a must for all guitar enthusiasts across the age spectrum.

The NSA Art Department offers a variety of festival fare including a short animation film, titled Luna, “Rhythm” the 36-guitar transformation project, EcoBrick benches as well as a specially curated exhibition of student work.

The NSA Theatre will be home to the original works that came through the 2018 Original Works Festival. Comedy Improv in the spirit of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” will give audience members a chance to participate and share the spotlight with the anchor improv performers from the NSA.

Other festival work includes an African guitar-making workshop, the Climate Change Protest poem from the acclaimed Well Worn Theatre Co. led by the inspiring eco-activist award-winning theatre maker Kyla Davis, Vuyani Dance Theatre, a pop-up gallery on the field which focuses on Neil Le Roux’s eco-biological artwork – The Bramble Fountain Food Forest. There will be scheduled tours of the hydroponics tunnel and an opportunity to view the Bramble Fountain Food Forest.

Formerly known as the Festival of Fame, the NSA’s Festival of the Arts is the highlight showcase event of the first quarter of the academic year. 2019 marks the 18th Festival and is made possible through a social investment made by the FirstRand Foundation (made from the RMB Fund’s Education for a creative economy), the National Lotteries Commission, the National Arts Council, Business Arts South Africa and with the support of The Joburg Theatre, ASSITEJ South Africa and Tastic.

A day at the festival offers a unique experience of arts and culture, instilling and nurturing a love for all things creative; educating, entertaining and encouraging reflection.

Tickets from R80 for a full day pass to all shows (R70 for school block bookings) and R120 for evening and weekend shows at The Joburg Theatre. Book at or 0861 670 670.

Guitar Wizards – workshop and evening show R180. Bookings through Charmaine Stander at the Festival Office at the NSA.

Charmaine Stander
011 339 6539 (ext 339)


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