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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The Playhouse Company proudly hosts its second Community Arts Festival in the Playhouse Loft Theatre from May 5 to 21, 2011.

The festival is geared to offer a platform for artists and arts practitioners to stage their performance works in a professional environment.

Three productions, entitled Just Don’t, Rice and Sisenga Ilala, will be featured in the festival. Each work focuses on important social issues.

“In staging our second exciting Community Arts Festival, we are happy to follow through on our initiative of last year, in fulfilling a vital part of our mandate,” says Playhouse Company Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Linda Bukhosini. “This includes fostering developmental work within our arts community. To this end, we have again engaged a team of professional mentors, specialists in stage craft, script writing, music, dance and choreography, to teach and guide the community artists we are working with, helping them to take their productions to the next level.”

The dynamic team of mentors engaged by The Playhouse Company comprises Edmund Mhlongo (Project Director), Caroline Smart (Voice Coach), Faca Kulu and Linda Gcwensa (Music Mentors), Zinhle Gumede and Musa Hlatshwayo (Movement and Dance Mentors), Ashwin Singh (Script Writing Mentor); and Christopher Hurst (Direction).

Directed by Keaorata Gaokgwathe, Rice is a two-hander production, using boxes in place of props. It reflects the story of two Lerole Brothers, Karabo and Mothusimang, who tragically lose their parents in a fatal car accident. Karabo, the older brother, finds himself having to fend for both himself and his younger brother… Things get tough as their entrusted aunt turns against them, and Karabo loses his job due to nepotism. Drawn into a downward spiral of crime, from manufacturing and distributing of pirated DVD’s and music CD’s, to drug trafficking, ATM bombings, and the betrayal of his best friend Thami, Karabo gets arrested while his younger brother perseveres through to his final year of university. Performed by Orapeleng Mongale and Christopher Mathe, this experimental theatre piece by the Atlegang Creatives theatre group won first place in the 2010 Crime Stop Festival in Mafekeng.

A Julazza Theatre Arts Company production featuring seven actors, Sisenga Ilala talks about peace and reconciliation through a cultural conflict resolution system in a tribal court. Set in a small village of the Amambo Tribe under the rule of chief Colongo, the legend of peace, the play promotes and encourages communication in society. Directed by Mbheki Mabhida, Sisenga Ilala is performed by Thami Silindana, Bonginkosi Myeza, Lindani Mthethwa, Khetha Mbatha and Phumelela Khawula.

Just Don’t, an Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre project based on real life experiences, is a drama that carries a cautionary tale. A group of prisoners follow the journey of Jesu, a young boy from a well-off family, who commits a petty crime stealing a cellphone as a birthday gift for his girlfriend. He lands in jail where he is abused by prison gangsters. Fighting for his life, he ends up paralyzed and HIV positive. The cast of this production includes Lucky Simayile, Ntuthuko Ndwandwe, Sandile Mchunu, Sphephelo Nxumalo, Sandile Nxumalo and Phumlani Ngubane.

Admission to the Playhouse’s Community Arts Festival is free. Performances of Just Don’t are on May 5 and 6 at 14h00 and on May 7 at 12h00 and 15h00.

Rice will be performed on 12 and 13 May at 14h00 and on May 14 at 12h00 and 13h00.

Performances of Sisenga Ilala are on May 19 and 20 at 14h00, and on May 21 at 12h00 and 15h00. For more information or to book, call Thubelihle on 031 369 9456 or e-mail

(Individual stories on the plays with photographs are featured separately)