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Sunday, October 11, 2015


(Actress, director and editor of artSMart, Caroline Smart, is among the judges)

Six vibrant performers get a once in a lifetime opportunity during preparations for the 7th ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Scholarships Awards finale.

The finalists, who were selected after taking part in the arts talent competition’s national search, join a creative team comprising industry professionals, and in the process have undergone intensive week-long rehearsals from October 6 to 12 for the final show.

The event, hosted at the iconic Market Theatre for the first time this year, will see the top six showcasing their acting, dancing and singing abilities to a live audience and an independent panel of judges.

The panel includes esteemed professionals - James Ngcobo, Ashraf Johaardien, Charlie van Rooyen, Caroline Smart and Jennis Williamson – who join a long list of industry greats and experts such as Gregory Maqoma, Kim Cloete, Nthati Moshesh, Bryan Schimmel, Anton Luitingh, Nolo Phiri and Bianca le Grange, who have previously judged the awards.

The creative team who will help refine the top six’s routines and put together a seamless production will be made up of well-known actor, theatre-maker and director, Jacques Bessenger who returns as Artistic Director, and Franco Prinsloo who will work as Musical Director for yet another year. Market Theatre Laboratory apprentice Salome Sebola joins the team as Assistant Director.

As the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is passionate about continuous support and the grooming of young artists, this year previous winners Chantèl Evans (R105,000 prize winner in 2012) and Kamogelo Nche (R60,000 prize winner in 2013) will also bring their know-how to assist the hopefuls with choreography and dance performances.

Judges will select winners for three scholarships to the value of R150,000, R105,000 and R60,000 respectively. Made possible by the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) and Nedbank Arts Affinity, the funds will afford the top three with opportunities to study any performing arts course at an accredited South African tertiary institution of their choice.

This year’s finals will be emceed by 20-year-old Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Musical Theatre student Raymond Motadi from Lephalale in Limpopo. The outspoken TshwaneFM radio presenter believes that hosting the Scholarships finals is the start of his vision towards making a mark in South Africa’s entertainment industry.

ACT’s CEO Pieter Jacobs supports Raymond’s sentiments by sharing his views on the success of the great talent unearthed from individuals who have presented the Scholarships over the years: “It’s encouraging to witness the impact this experience has on the careers of some of our previous presenters. Altovise Lawrence has gone on to emcee ACT’s 20-year celebrations and annual Awards ceremony in 2014 and Bongani Nomcweya made a number of appearances at Nedbank events after his stint on the Scholarships stage. The aim is to afford budding presenters an opportunity to exercise their emcee skills and we are delighted to see this result in career enrichment for these young people.”

The final of the 2015 ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarships will be held at the Market Theatre in Newtown on October 12, 2015, with additional support provided by the National School of the Arts (NSA) and Jade Bowers Design and Management. Needing to prove their ‘triple-threat’ status, the six finalists will each prepare singing, dancing and acting solos, and two group numbers; under the guidance of the creative team.

For more information on the Scholarships programme, visit