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Monday, June 8, 2015


The ASSITEJ Family Fare Platform returns to the National Arts Festival for a fourth consecutive year to promote rich and diverse theatre for young audiences and their families.

Since its inception, ASSITEJ Family Fare has provided a unique platform dedicated entirely to the needs of families experiencing the festival. The venues provide theatre which caters to the whole family, while Oatlands Prep, where the ASSITEJ Family Fare Platform has its base, specifically provides interactive, creative and stimulating Family Fare activities run by artists and ASSITEJ staff.

ASSITEJ has built relationships within the Grahamstown family community, with local families returning each year. Denese Palm, a local mom and entrepreneur, has for the last three years provided wholesome and nutritious catering for audiences visiting the Oatlands venue.

The ASSITEJ Family Fare Platform has successfully gained recognition within the framework of the National Arts Festival. Of the handful of prestigious Silver Ovation Awards issued at National Arts Festival since 2012, the ASSITEJ Family Fare programme has already been awarded two: the first for Jori Snell’s critically acclaimed Kitchen Fables in a Cookie Jar in 2012 and the second to international ASSITEJ theatre company, Batida from Denmark, whose production A Man Called Rolex heralded in a new category of award for Family Fare in 2014. Many other productions on the platform have been awarded Ovation awards in recognition of their quality.

The ASSITEJ Family Fare Platform has now extended across the festival, with performances at Oatlands Prep, Memory Hall, Glennie and Centenary Halls. 2015 presents a rich diversity of 14 productions – entertaining, thought provoking and engaging – giving families the opportunity of “growing up and growing together through theatre”.

On the Main Programme, two international collaborations are featured. Red Earth Revisited by Speelteater Holland and ASSITEJ SA is a re-imagining of the events around the Xhosa prophetess Nongqawuse, seen through the eyes of a migrant stork. True Confusion by ZeBu (Denmark), aimed at ages 8 to 13, is a physical interpretation of the situation where children find themselves paradoxically accepting their reality while bombarding it with hundreds of questions. It is playful, challenging and interactive.

The theme of Dance for Young Audiences is continued with an exciting local production titled Once upon a Fire by Briony Horwitz, co-directed by Nkosinathi Gaar and choreographed by David Matamela.

There are also a number of performances which address issues like social injustice, crimes against humanity, disability and inclusivity in exciting and challenging ways, providing the opportunity for starting conversations with young people around important issues. These include The Orphan of Gaza by Eliot Moleba performed by Nidaa Hussein and Megan van Wyk; Warrior on Wheels presented by the Chaeli Campaign, directed by Jayne Batzofin; Mirrored Flaws by Thando Baliso, and The Rise and Fall’ presented by Sisonke Art Productions, directed by Herbert Mokoena.

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