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Thursday, April 14, 2022


Naledi spokesman Chris Avant Smith provides the latest news on the Naledi Awards:

The last two years have been incredibly challenging for all of us. More so, the performing arts industry has been especially hard hit, and, in fact, to-date is still the last remaining industry that is still effectively in lockdown. At present we are only allowed 50% audience capacity, which severely impacts on the earning potential for artists and producers. The Naledi judges in the past have reviewed over 90 productions a year, whereas in 2020 and 2021 this number has reduced substantially.

The Naledis themselves have gone through equally tough times when we tragically lost our founder and CEO, Dawn Lindberg, to COVID. However, we subscribe to the old theatre adage “The Show Must Go On!” said the new CEO, Lihan Pretorius and, in conjunction with the board and management team of the Naledis, have held fast to Dawn’s dream of an awards system that celebrates excellence in theatre.

“We needed to think out of the box” said Naledi CEO, Lihan Pretorius “and whilst Dawn was still with us, we decided that we would review the years 2020 and 2021 together, in order to have a sufficient number of productions to consider”.

As Renos Spanoudes, the Chair of Judges has said, “In addition to the productions that could be staged, we also needed to consider those productions that took place during lockdown and that were filmed solely for streaming purposes, as they did not or could not have a live audience. To facilitate this, we created a new category only applicable for this year’s awards event. This category is called VOLT”.

“It is with great excitement that we can now announce that the Naledi Theatre Awards for the years in review will take place on Monday, May 16, 2022, LIVE on the Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre” says Naledi Board Chairperson Kgomotso Christopher, “and the Nominations reveal will take place on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at the Lesedi Theatre at the Joburg Theatre. A word of thanks to the Joburg Theatre for making this possible.”

Working through the productions across all genres, the Naledi judges have once again been struck by the quality, range and exceptional professionalism that the South African performing arts practitioners have displayed in their works performed and created during the COVID pandemic.

The Naledis acknowledge that for many actors and producers, two years is a long time to wait to hear about possible nominations and, of course, the excitement and prestige of the Award Ceremony itself. However, if the past two years have taught us nothing else, we have learnt to have patience, held onto our stamina and have shown the unique staying power and resilience that people in the performing arts sphere have in abundance.

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