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Saturday, April 30, 2016


Over the past two months, UKZN Drama and Performance students have been working on a devised theatre piece that, at its core, is described as “a celebration of Blackness”.

In close collaboration with the cast, recently published playwright, Masters student and multi-award winning director Kline Smith draws captivating performances from over 30 dancers, poets, musicians and actors in Umuntu.

The diverse, high-energy cast has created meticulously-crafted scenes that are both exciting and thought-provoking. ‎Each scene revisits South Africa’s fractured history while “soberly reflecting on life in South Africa 22 years after the hangover brought on by the Rainbow Nation celebrations.”

The set is minimalist, except for a piano, a guitar, a drum and a couple of metal frames. Original, fresh content meets loosely-adapted short stories and poems by African writers from as far back as the 1950’s.

The director and cast hope that when audiences watch Umuntu, the experience of looking back and looking forward is as moving as‎ it has been for them. 

Umuntu runs in the Hexagon Studio Theatre at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg, from May 5 to 7 at 18h00. Tickets R40 (R25 students) available at the door.