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Monday, June 8, 2015


The 6th New Playwright’s Festival will run in the Durban University of Technology’s Courtyard Theatre from June 15 to 18 with at least four new playreadings each night.

After founding the New Director’s Festival Phase I & II in 2001 and seeing the enormous strides this has undergone, the festival's Artistic Director, Professor Debbie Lutge, is delighted by the prospect of a sixth year of The New Playwright’s Festival – a platform for new works by young unpublished playwrights established in 2010.

“This New Playwright’s Festival I hope to see grow through the engagement and interaction of young first time writers with their public, their peers, academics, and industry practitioners. In this festival actors carry scripts and read these manuscripts, sans costumes and elaborate sets, frequently merely seated, with the writer reading the stage directions. The audience is expected to visualize and therefore participate. It is the written text, rather than the performance text, design elements or direction that holds the key. This forum aims to encourage new works by the youth and allows new South African works a voice,” Lutge explains.

The plays are short 15 minute pieces with the option to grow these plays to full one act plays in the future. In 2014, 16 new manuscripts were unveiled with three new works per evening over five days and on the final day an additional script. In 2015, audiences will be presented with 16 new manuscripts over four days as well as a possible additional manuscript from Emuhle All Artists on Youth Day.

All the festival plays are potential short theatre scripts in their initial stages and still retain their draft format status, awaiting critical engagement to turn them into masterpieces. Each play time is allocated 15 - 20 minutes with a 10 minute feedback session.

The 6th New Playwright’s Festival runs from June 15 to 18 nightly from 17h30 to 20h00. Entrance is free. The Courtyard Theatre is situated on the Steve Biko Campus of the Durban University of Technology in Steve Biko/Mansfield Road.