Naledi Theatre Awards founder and Executive Producer, Dawn Lindberg has been presented with the Women: The Real Architects of Society Awards (WRASA) Drama Excellence Award to acknowledge and honour her 51 years in theatre and show business.
Lindberg, who staged the 12th annual Naledi Theatre Awards in April this year, says she is deeply honoured by this recognition, especially considering the calibre of women who filled the Theatre on the Track at Kyalami on August 20.
“Architects design and create environments in which societies can flourish and grow,” she says, “in the theatre, directors, designers and performers create magical spaces where our stories can be told, and many of our theatre architects are women.
”Women have always been the nurturers and the visionaries, but historically have been forced into stereotypes and ‘pretty woman’ images,” she adds. “Now more and more women are smashing through glass ceilings to take their place as the movers and shakers of our society. For me, the woman at the forefront of challenging these stereotypes is our Olympic Gold medallist, Caster Semenya. For me, she epitomises fearless courage and talent, and awareness of who she is; a woman athlete and a true architect of women in sport!”
The Drama Excellence Award, which Lindberg clinched, is presented to a woman who has made a significant contribution to Performing Arts in drama, the Creative Arts and Theatre.
As a voice of liberation since 1965, Lindberg’s contributions to society, theatre and music are legion. She and her husband, Des, challenged the apartheid government censorship laws many times over when their records, shows and non-racial casts were banned; putting their careers on the line time and again.
The Lindbergs spearheaded the opening of theatres to all races with their production of Godspell in 1978, and over the past 51 years they have made 15 albums and CDs, toured South African and Zimbabwe, reached the top of the charts with The Seagull’s Name was Nelson, produced 10 musicals and 10 plays including The Vagina Monologues, while Lindberg has conceived and has produced the Naledi Theatre Awards for the past 12 years.
“The Naledi Theatre Awards holds a mirror to the very best of creative work on our SA stages,” she says. “Theatre tells the stories of our dynamically changing society: vigorous, articulate, sometimes angry, but always passionate and vitally alive.”
Lindberg was also nominated in the pinnacle category, Icon of the Year, at Saturday’s Awards show. Although she did not win it, the nomination acknowledges Lindberg as a woman who has successfully combined her roles as a leader in theatre and the arts, an independent producer, a person of integrity and passion, while also being a wife and mother … a woman who knows that that every day is an opening night
Named together with her husband as ‘Living Legends’ by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, and dubbed ‘Stars of Their Community’ by The Star newspaper. Lindberg has also been nominated as a Top Woman Achiever and was a finalist for Mrs South Africa.
The Naledi Theatre Awards has honoured over 60 Lifetime Achievers: veteran artistes, technicians, and administrators who have dedicated their lives to South African Theatre, and also pays tribute to people in the Arts who have taken their final bows during the year under review.
Catch the last Naledia Awards on September 4 at 14h30 on kykNET, Channel 144 on DStv.
For more information, visit www.naleditheatreawards.org.za