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Saturday, September 7, 2019


Twist Durban Theatre Development Projects launched the new book by Roel Twijnstra and Emma Durden, Acting in South Africa: Skills and Inspirations, in Durban last month.

There will be a further launch in the Midlands over the 2019 Hilton Arts Festival, together with the staging of Twist street theatre shows, from September 13 to 15.

The new book is the third in a series that includes one on directing and one on producing. The book is a user-friendly introduction to acting for both stage and screen. The book includes interviews with actors and with directors, coaches, agents and producers, who talk about their own experiences and share tips for making it as an actor in South Africa. Interviewed actors include Andrew Buckland, David Dennis, Dawn Thandeka King, Dr Jerry Mofokeng and many others.

Sir Roel Twijnstra, originally from the #Netherlands, is a theatre director, designer and producer based in South Africa. He was trained as an assistant of Peter Stein and Peter Brook, and has worked in the USA, Russia, Indonesia, Nepal, Morocco, Uganda, Benin, Guinea, Zimbabwe and South Africa. He is the head of the Live Performance School at AFDA in Durban and has lectured at UKZN and DUT. He is a founder of Twist Theatre Development Projects in 2010.

Dr Emma Durden works in the field of theatre for development and health. She started working as an actor in 1993 at NAPAC (the then Natal Performing Arts Council) and has since gone on to be a researcher, writer, director, theatre-maker and educator. She has a PhD in Theatre for Development from The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and has taught at AFDA, UKZN, the University of Cape Town and the University of Zimbabwe. She runs a health communication consultancy called Act Two Training, the industrial theatre company, PST Project and manages Twist Theatre Development Projects.

The publication of the book is made possible by Twist Projects through generous grants from the National Lotteries Commission and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa.

At Hilton, two free street theatre productions mentored by Twist Theatre Development Projects will be part of the street theatre programme:

Waiting: a delightfully crafted performance which borders on the absurd designed for the outdoors with seven chairs and seven people which invites us to wonder what we are waiting for before making the moves and changes that are needed in our own lives, created by the Ithubalabasha Theatre Company.

The Goal takes a light-hearted look at what starts out as a simple soccer match and ends in questions around gender roles, fairness and winning at all costs, created by Umlazi Township Academy of the Arts.

Both productions enjoyed excellent audience response at Durban’s Fresha Theatre Festival in January this year.

For further information about Twist Theatre Development Projects, contact

The Hilton Arts Festival, now in its 27th year takes place from September 13 to 15, 2019, in the grounds of Hilton College.

The full programme appears on the festival website at or contact the Festival Office on or 033 383 0127.