The 2018 edition of the festival is celebrated under the banner “Together we are stronger,” inspired by Ma Albertina Sisulu, the “woman of fortitude,” as the world celebrates what would have been her 100th birthday. Ma Sisulu’s life was based on service with integrity and dignity. As a health worker, she never wavered from her values as a caring, professional nurse and midwife and led with humility, while upholding the human rights of others.
“This year we celebrate the magic that happens when women in the creative space work together. Over 20 productions in a variety of genres, including music, drama, poetry, art comedy, lifestyle, workshops and discussions are featured in the programme,” says festival curator and State Theatre Producer Keamogetswe Moeketsane.
The word ‘Vavasati’ is a Xitsonga word meaning ‘Women’, reiterating the power and strength that women possess when they unite. The theatre created a women’s festival of this stature to give accessibility to space and theatre resources and a voice to women artists whose names do not yet appear in any theatre history books. Like 20 000 women of all races and backgrounds, who marched to Union Buildings against pass laws on the 9th of August in 1956. Through their movement pass laws were changed. Imagine how much change women can affect by working together on important issues.
In an effort to make the festival more accessible and affordable, the theatre has introduced convenient packages for patrons. They are as follows;
Single show R80pp
4 shows per week R160 pp
5 shows per week R200 pp
(Ticket available for one week – A Week is from Monday – Sunday)
Tickets are available for purchase at Computicket outlets nationwide or through SAST sales office on 012 392 4000.
Island of Goree | Musical | Directed and Produced by Godfrey Thobejane
Dates: 1–3 August 2018
The Doorway of no return! The story of women who depict the reality of a house of slaves in Senegal centuries ago. Where some of our black African brothers and sisters last touched the African soil before being shipped and sold to the Americas
You Are an Eagle | Children’s theatre, musical | Directed and Produced by Khanyisile Vilakazi
Dates: 2–4 August 2018
An Eagle is blown by the wind from the eagle’s village to a chicken’s village. Can the Eagle learn to fly, even though he has been discouraged by the chickens?
Playback Theatre Workshop
Maryam Foye from USA
Dates: 3 August 2018
Playback theatre is interactive improv theatre. They use music, drama, poetry and movement to retell audience stories in the moment.
God of Africa Conversations
Directed and Produced by Thobeka Wandile Nyathikazi
Dates: 4 August 2018
Venue: Transvalia Bar
The God of Africa Conversations delve into the psychological, emotional, physical and financial stresses in Africa; societal ills that can be traced to the breakdown of the Black family.
Lucidity | Drama |Directed and Produced by Aneshree Paul
Dates: 7-9 August 2018
Lucidity unravels the ideas and binaries laid out by gender, religion, sexuality, the mind itself and women versus society. When stepping outside of the binaries, what happens?
In Her Shoes| Poetic Play | Directed and Produced by Itumeleng Motuba
Dates: 9 August 2018
The storyline is based on four women from Soshanguve, with different lifestyles and different backgrounds. Alternating between four quadrants of frustrations showing how they are all linked. This play will spark conversations that we all need to address in our communities. An interactive dialogue with the audience will wrap the show.
Women in the Industry Photo Exhibition
Directed and Produced by Sanmari Marais
Dates: 9-31 August 2018
With more than 10 years’ experience within the print, digital and photography industry the founder of Sammy Shoots Photography & Graphic Design, Sanmari Marais strives to bring consistent creative problem solving to artist and creatives who need coverage of their events, brand development & marketing to position themselves in the industry. She has worked with big industry names such as the late Bra Hugh Masekela, Barbara Masekela, The Parlotones, Cassper Nyovest, Thandiswa Mazwai, Ringo, Lira, Jude HarpStar and Elvis Blue, to only name a few.
Abafazi Be Ngoma | Marimba Band Concert | Directed and Produced by Thanduxolo Jindela
Date: 10 August 2018
The cast of Abafazi are incredible women who tell amazing stories of triumph through an electrifying performance. They point out the significance of a woman’s voice by putting together a high-energy performance that encapsulates the stories of not just African women, but women throughout the world; using storytelling, dance and music.
I am a Queen – High Tea | Host, Gail Mabena
Date: 11 August 2018
A classy high tea party with artists performing and special guest speakers addressing women’s issues.
Hip Hop-Cap City | Hip hop| Directed and Produced by Chueu Records and Ramp Media
Date: 11 August 2018
The Cap City Hip Hop events are intimate recitals of the street culture that permeates the arteries of Tshwane. During the show local MC’s will treat the audience to a listening session of their latest music. They will share their journey through music and describe the passion that drove them to be the artists that they are today.
The Masks | Two-hander| Directed and Produced by Khauhelo Maikhi
Dates: 13-15 August 2018
Masks is a play about two characters who find themselves surrounded by people who do not want to accept them for who they are. The male character is rejected by his family for being gay. A female character finds herself in conflict with members of the society for being lesbian.
Dia lla| Drama | Directed and Produced by Mmabatho Chuene
Dates: 14-16 August 2018
Twins Batho and Anele find themselves in the village of Makweng after being abandoned by their mother. Their sense of abandonment brings them closer together, but their village pulls them apart because of their gender.
Heels Over Head | Concert |Directed and Produced by Marlyn Ntsele
Dates: 17 and 31 August 2018
Durban based female band Heels over Head are delighted to be back in Gauteng. The band aims to empower women in the industry. They will be performing with Lindelwe Ngonelo on keys and Tebza Sedumedi on bass guitar.
“Heels over Head has a particular brand of smooth jazz, which cunningly combines contemporary African musical phrases, evocative popular African standards, dance inducing rhythms and happy melodic vocals. Dressed to kill, they present well, combining glamour and warmth with a hint of the seductive; obviously, a hot combo!”
My Silence Is Talkative| Drama |Directed and Produced by Gcebile Dlamini
Dates: 17-19 August 2018
Mphilo is a teenage Albino girl in the country. Her grandmother believes she is a blessing, that she can cure disease and make the family rich. Mpilo and her mother’s (Nozizwe) journey confront the myths that allow young girls to be exploited, harassed and abused by authority figures in our communities.
Bodies Under Siege | Poetry| Directed and Produced by Ishmael Sibiya
Dates: 18 August 2018
Bodies under Siege is a spoken word poetry and jazz showcase staring four powerhouse poets, Siphokazi Jonas, Vuyelwa Maluleke, Emmah Mabye nd Wazi Kunene accompanied by an all women jazz band. Through their work, they have been very vocal and introspective to women’s issues, including femicide, body shaming, patriarchy and many other societal issues facing women.
Senohe | Drama | Directed and Produced by Palesa Matabane
Dates: 21-23 August 2018
The story of Mantsopa the Prophetess born in 1795. Her lifetime saw the founding of Lesotho and the drawing of its borders, the Moshoeshoe’s and the Zulus’ and The Boer war. In her lifetime she predicted the outcomes of wars, the coming of the missionaries, racial conflicts, what some believe to be the First World War, air raids and car accidents, and moral decay within society.
The BLACK Series| Drama |Directed and Produced by Anna Tladi
Dates: 22-24 August 2018
“What Is Your Experience As A BLACK Body?”
The BLACK Series is a physical theatre work consisting of three (3) individual solo pieces exploring the common theme of “the black body” throughout history and modern day.
Three Sisters | Drama| Directed and Produced by Onthatile Makgeledisa and Mariska Denysschen
Dates: 28-30 August 2018
This adaptation of Chekov’s Three Sisters is a conceptual expression of the lives of the three sisters. The adaptation focuses on inner and outer conflict. A mixture of a black and a white cast. The play speaks to the universal human likeness principle: all have hopes and dreams and plans.
Nomzamo (She who tries) | Musical Poetry| Directed and Produced by Nelson Mokoena
Dates: 28-30 August 2018
Nomzamo takes us through 491 days of trial and tribulation, interrogation and separation. While named 1323/69 representing 46664 everywhere she went she was treated like an alien in her own country. Arrested and detained as a qualified social worker. An oppressive education system that was systematic to domesticate her, she fought gallantly and weaponized the same education to conjure the downfall of her oppressors. With her stylish “doek” uniquely wrapped around her head, she remains immovable like a rock.
Extending the Frame – Women in Arts Conversation
Directed and Produced by the Writers Lab
Date: 31 August 2018
The Writers Lab is a collective of Playwrights, which will host a conversation with women/female playwrights/theatre makers titled: “Extending the Frame”. We’ll be engaging with female creatives in conversations on: The process of creation, language and writing in South Africa, gender parity and polarisation and publishing and staging.
Tshwane rea Tshwana Comedy show
Date: 24 August 2018
Comedy night hosted by Schoolboy, featuring Lihle Linzi, Mbali Jumaima and a special appearance by Principal Thubakgale (from Skeemsaam)