Local is Lekker at the ASSITEJ Family Fare venue

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Assitej+logoLocal involvement in the ASSITEJ Family Fare venue at National Arts Festival continues to grow.

This year ASSITEJ SA, organisers of the ASSITEJ Family Fare venue, is working with the Kuyasa Special School to support their learners in selling their handmade crafts in addition to hosting local food vendors and a local ‘knit-a-thon’ in aid of the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day campaign.

The ASSITEJ Family Fare has its main base at Oatlands Preparatory supported by a number of satellite and associated venues like Memory Hall at St. Andrews. At Oatlands Prep, the school quad is converted into a deli where Grahamstown local Denese Palm provides wholesome foods which cater for all dietary needs and where families can relax in-between shows.

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School tables are set out in the covered quad outside of the theatre for young people to engage in playful activities while the greater Oatlands Preparatory School grounds provides ample space for children to play within safe confines of the property. The ASSITEJ Family Fare venue at Oatlands offers the weary parent and guardian a calm space to enjoy a warm beverage on a wintery Festival day.

Shared Family Experiences
The ASSITEJ Family Fare provides a numerous opportunities for families and communities to engage in a shared experience with no additional costs.

The Coloured Cube Giant African boardgames:
To encourage play, the ASSITEJ Family Fare will this year have large scale outdoor board games, made by creative space activator company, the Coloured Cube. These board games, like morabaraba and mancala, are based on traditional board games from different parts of Africa and offer Festival Families a chance to gather around and play together.

Grahamstown’s own: 67 Blankets for Mandela Knitathon
The Grahamstown group for the 67 Blankets for Mandela will host a knitathon during National Arts Festival at the ASSITEJ SA Family Fare venue. Says Bridget van Oerle, PR manager for the campaign says, “Bring your wool and needles and join in to make blankets in honour of Nelson Mandela’s 67 Minutes campaign.” The knitathons will take place on both Saturdays of the Festival from 10:00 until 13:00 at Oatlands.

Kuyasa Special School Craft Stall
ASSITEJ SA has invited learners from the Kuyasa Special School to present and sell their handmade crafts and homegrown plants at Oatlands Preparatory School. The stall will be set up over weekends and is valuable learning experience for these high school learners.

ASSITEJ Family Venue programme and activity booklet
ASSITEJ SA provides a handy booklet which contains information on all shows aimed at young people. This boldly coloured and light-weight programme also provides activities for families to participate in which relate to the themes of the shows on at the ASSITEJ Family Fare. These activities range from simple mazes to complex science experiments like, “How to Catch a Cloud” relating to Richard Antrobus’ production “The Cloud Catcher”.

Free Family Fare at National Arts Festival
To make theatre accessible to all children in Grahamstown during National Arts Festival, a number of ASSITEJ SA members have come forward to make their work freely available. These include the Keiskamma Music Academy performance (who featured on the platform last year), Musa Hlatshwayo’s “Yin’ iRespect”, which was mentored in an ASSITEJ SA incubation programme sponsored by the National Arts Council and “Lenyalo”, an international street theatre collaboration between France’s Theatre Thump! and South Africa’s Sisonke Arts. Jungle Theatre’s “Butterfly Dreams” forms part of the Main Festival ‘Public Art’ programme and is offered free of charge.

Music: Keiskamma Music Academy is currently in its 10th year and to celebrate this momentous occasion, and is teaming up with a number of partners at this year’s National Arts Festival on 5 July 2016. Keiskamma Music Academy provides high quality music education to rural children from the area of Hamburg and surrounding villages.

Dance: Yin’ iRespect?! (recommended age 12+), presented by Mhayise Productions and choreographed by Musa Hlatshwayo. This touring dance theatre piece explores the notion of respect – how we show respect, to whom and why! It fuses street games, energetic dance, singing, acting and chants, all creatively interwoven into a participatory dance theatre work specifically made for younger audiences.

Street Art: Lenyalo (recommended 12+), presented by Theatre Thump! and Sisonke Arts and featuring Carole Deborde, Oliver Borowski, Seipati Magagula and Herbert Mokoena.
Wedding invitation for onlookers in the street ‘you are hereby cordially invited to our wedding’ dress code: as you are.

Street Art: Butterfly Dreams (recommended 10+) presented by Jungle Theatre is directed by Vincent Meyburgh and assisted by Richard Antrobus. Dancing on stilts with powerful drumming and spectacular costumes, Butterfly Dreams is a surreal and larger than life celebration of a girl experiencing the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

Volunteers and buskers at The ASSITEJ Family Fare Venue at Oatlands Prep:
If you would you like to volunteer or busk (no charge) at our venue? Let us know: Contact Yusrah on comms@assitej.org.za.

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