Annual NSA Festival of The Arts coming up

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NSA Festival of The ArtsThe National School of the Arts in partnership with ASSITEJ SA (International Association of Theatre for Children & Young People) will host the eighteenth Festival of The Arts (FOTA) that will take to the stages of the Joburg Theatre and the National School of the Arts (NSA) from 6-11 March 2018.

  • Tracks: “Unflinching yet vitally important in saying what it does, it is a play of this nature, crafted with a keen sense of aesthetics and a potent understanding of the magic of storytelling that makes you remember what theatre is all about.” Robyn Sassen, 2017

  • A Season of Simplicity; same kind of difference, but still the same: ‘An inclusive dance production that has a cast made up of artists with diverse disabilities. Choreographed by the dancers, the production explores the personal stories of each artist under the direction of award-winning dancer and choreographer, Gladys Agulhas.’

  • The Snow Goose: “Gallico’s story soars… With the significant talents of James Cairns and Taryn Bennett, masterfully swapping faces (literally) to play all the story’s characters, the story of the unlikely friendship between two people over an injured snow goose thrown off course over pre-war England is brought vividly to life.” – Gayle Edmunds, City Press

  • Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny: ‘The play tells the story of a white man who survives the horrors of conscription during the apartheid years in South Africa. Where does Johnny Boskak fit in the new South Africa? Is he white trash? Is he the last cowboy hero? He is on the road looking for love, redemption, an AK47 and the quickest way out of Secunda.’

  • The Darker Ages: ‘Tyson Ngubeni’s complexion lies somewhere between Wesley Snipes and eternal darkness. But in South Africa, this leads to tense encounters when people assume he doesn’t belong. The Darker Ages (sequel to the original Dark Ages that premiered at the National Arts Festival in 2016) is a comedy spectacular throwing punches at xenophobia using sharp observations and a thrilling mix of characters. Award-winning comedians Donovan Goliath (director) and Siv Ngesi (producer) team up to bring this show to life – in association with Masidlale Productions, adapting the work for young audiences’.

Since 2014 the festival has offered a diverse line-up with several multi-nominated and award-winning professional productions, thanks to the partnership with ASSITEJ SA. This year’s line-up will include: ‘The Snow Goose’ (by Contagious Theatre), ‘Tracks’ (by Maude Sandham) and ‘A Season of Simplicity; same kind of difference, but still the same thing’ (by Gladys A. Collaborative Productions House), ‘Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny’ (by Craig Morris) and ‘The Darker Ages’ (by Masidlale Productions). Suitable audiences are primary school learners (10-14), high school learners (15-17) and families.

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The Snow Goose
The Snow Goose

This year’s line-up of professional productions will provide a wider scope of inclusivity, originality, content, variety and quality work, which is touring schools locally and nationally.

Topping the bill in the student production programme is The Wiz, the vibrant soul / R&B re-interpretation of Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. With a top creative team headed by director Tracey Human, The Wiz will feature between 50 and 70 learners from across the four NSA art departments; art, dance, drama and music. It is in the interdepartmental musical that the versatility of the NSA learners is showcased, allowing the triple-threat performers a chance to shine in the spotlight! The Wiz will be a big audience pleaser while providing critical vocational training for the burgeoning performing artists, many of whom are eyeing a possible career in musical theatre.

Assitej SA“The partnership between ASSITEJ SA and the National School of the Arts will further fortify the vision to present a national youth-focussed school arts festival. The festival creates a platform for collaborations between students, professional artists and academics over the 6-day festival” – Tumi Moroeng, Gauteng Projects Coordinator

In line with this vision, the partnership between ASSITEJ SA and the NSA has integrated a Professional Development component to its youth-focussed festival in addition to the ASSITEJ SA / Naledi Showcase.

A Season of Simplicity
A Season of Simplicity

The festival not only offers the value and sheer joy of the performing arts, but also goes towards preparing students for the world that awaits them. Capitalising on its culturally heavy leaning towards exemplary, rounded education, the National School of the Arts’s FOTA will see some sterling productions from students and invited guests, while also no doubt offering talent scouts an opportunity to identify up and coming stars of the stage & screen.

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