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ASSITEJ South Africa celebrates in Cape Town with the Vrygrond Family Festival (VFF), now in its 8th year, from 27 November to 1 December 2019.
The aim of the festival is to provide a platform where children and youth from this vibrant but deprived community are engaged in theatre made specifically for them and with them. The festival also serves as a vehicle for youth in the community to explore and develop their creative passions.
The festival originated as a collaborative effort between ASSITEJ South Africa and the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, an independent theatre company based in Observatory, creating access for youth in the townships to showcase and experience the arts.
It is now a joint initiative of ASSITEJ SA, Vrygrond NGOs and local youth. Vrygrond is a township community located in Muizenberg East and is the oldest informal settlement in Cape Town; it is also where the Cape Town offices of ASSITEJ South Africa are located. This year the festival runs over five days, which includes an in-school programme that will run every morning from 27- 29 November 2019 and the main festival which starts on Friday 29 November and runs through to Sunday 1 December 2019.
The in-school programme will enable professional artists to engage with learners at Capricorn Primary School, through professional workshops and performances. This year we are bringing local and professional performances such as On the Run by Sivuyile Dunjwa, a story about growing up in the townships, about poverty and how scarcity can lead to unexpected results; Umlotha by Playthingz, a story about a priest who struggles to raise his son in a drug-infested community and tries hard to find answers in the bible, but ends up losing his son; The Young Scientist by Thandiwe Lerato Sekhibane, an interesting production that questions the images of scientists that we form for children and how can we view children as scientists and complete humans; Dassie’s Tale by Jungle Theatre, an isiXhosa folktale suitable for Foundation phase learners that is set in ancient times when the earth was created; and The story of the little mole who knew it was none of his business by Meneer Monster. Meneer Monster is a Dutch theatre company that brings their unique theatre approach to staging international youth literature. They are known for making ‘Pixar theatre’ packed with humour, fantasy and imagination and their shows are wildly popular, high energy and packed full of fun.
Over the weekend from Friday 29 November – Sunday 01 December, the festival will be open to the public, with a wealth of fantastic experiences, including professional and community performances, the Vrygrond Festival parade, a fashion show and talent explosion, films, storytelling, workshops and arts-based activities for the children, youth and families of Vrygrond. This is a festival for and by the Vrygrond community.
VRYGROND FAMILY FESTIVAL IN-PROGRAMME (CAPRICORN PRIMARY SCHOOL)
Wednesday, 27 November
08:30 – 10:00 – Drama Workshops for Grades 3-4
11:00- 12:00 – Dassie’s Tale by Jungle Theatre
Thursday, 28 November
08:30 – 10:00 – Drama Workshops for Grades 5-7
11:00- 12:00 – On the Run by Sivuyile Dunjwa
Friday, 29 November
08:30 – 10:00 – Drama Workshops for Grades R-2
10:15 – 11:00 – The Young Scientist (Gr 2)
11:00 – 11:45 – Meneer Monster (Gr R-1)
11:45 – 12h30 – The Young Scientist (Gr 2)
VRYGROND FAMILY FESTIVAL PROGRAMME (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)
Friday, 29 November
13:30 – 14:30 – Parade
14:30 – 17:30 – VIP Showcase with Guests, including VIPs Juniors/Seniors; My freedom is a lie by Ubuntu Arts; Outcast Dancers; Crazy Family
17:00 – 18:00 – Ubuntu Trends Street Jam
Saturday, 30 November
Performances @Capricorn School Hall
10:00 – 11:00 – Umlotha by Playthingz
11:30 – 12:30 – The Young Scientist by Thandiwe Lerato Sekhibane
13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch
15:00 – 16:30 – ASGC Showcase
Workshops @Garden Room
10:00 – 11:00 – Dance workshop by Julia of Alive Dance Studios
11:30 – 12:30 – Dance workshop by Julia of Alive Dance Studios
Think Local! Opportunities & Goods Market @Communiversity Lawns
10:00 – 16:00 – Job & Business Market
10:30 – 11:30 – iThemba Labantu Showcase
Sunday, 01 December
10:30 – 11:30 – Five aside Soccer Match
15:00 – 17:00 – Sounds like Poetry in Vrygrond (Capricorn School Hall)