With the education crisis ever present, Sarafina is even more relevant than ever before. The UKZN Drama Department, Pietermaritzburg Campus is set to present this critically acclaimed Musical at the University’s Hexagon Theatre.
The play was originally written by award winning Actor/director/ playwright Mbongeni Ngema who also choreographed, produced and composed music for the stage play when it first hit New York stages in the 1980’s.
Sarafina is set in Soweto, specifically at Morris Isaacson High School, a school in which the students of 1976 courageously protested against the imposition of using Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in township schools. Led by a fierce young woman known as Sarafina, who is committed to the struggle against apartheid, they brave teargas and police shootings, all in an attempt to fight for justice and freedom in the education system that they were subjected to at the time.
Through narrative, song and dance, the production makes accessible difficult political issues in a light-hearted manner. The play comes alive through performances by a vibrant young cast of second and third year Drama students in the department and forms part of the department’s annual student production. They are also joined by three students from the Creative Arts College and one learner from Girls High School.
The play is directed by Ntokozo Madlala, a lecturer in the Drama Department. Musical direction is by T Christian, a rising musical producer who performed at this year’s Pietermaritzburg Jazz Festival and a former drummer for Simphiwe Dana. Choreography is by Brenda Lee Cele who manages Accoustic Assassins and directed And the Girls in their Sunday Dresses earlier this year.
The role of Sarafina is shared by Nandile Khumalo and Zazi Kunene with lecturer in the department, Ayanda Khala Phiri, as Teaspoon.
Sarafina runs from October 6 to 10 in the Hexagon Theatre on the UKZN Pietermaritzburg Campus with performances on Thursday, Friday and Monday at 18h30, Saturday at 14h00 and 18h30 and Sunday at 15h00. Tickets R100 (R50 to R80 concessions). Book at Ticketweb: https://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1464524755 (Book online, or book online & collect at Pick n Pay, or buy at selected Pick n Pays)