TWIST COMMUNITY THEATRE GROUPS UPDATE
Siyakha Performing Artists, based in Pietermaritzburg, joined the Twist Project in March 2011. As well as participating in all of the Twist projects, they have entered a number of festivals and competitions, and have generated income through performances for other groups. In 2011 they won the Umgungundlovu District Drama competition, and the Umgungundlovu 1.07 FM drama competition. The group also performed at the Women’s Festival at the Ekhaya Multi-arts centre in 2011, and auditioned for the Market Theatre development programme. Siyakha also performed AIDS awareness plays for the
Ecumenical Lay Centre in Pietermaritzburg, and for the Auditor General’s office. The group is continuing with the Twist programme in 2012 and is seeking additional sponsorship for their ongoing local programmes.
Emuhle All Artists, based in Port Shepstone, joined the Twist Project in March 2011. In addition to the Twist projects, the group has auditioned for the Zwakala Festival at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, and conducted an educator’s workshop in conjunction with their local municipality. They also offer regular theatre classes for local performers, and outreach programmes in indigenous music and dance. The group is continuing with the Twist programme in 2012 and is seeking additional sponsorship for their local outreach programmes.
The following groups have graduated from the Twist Project, but we continue to offer mentoring support and to keep in touch with them:
* Umsindo Theatre Productions, based in Umlazi, joined the Twist Project in March 2011. As well as participating in all of the Twist projects, the group has performed at many other festivals and conferences,
including the National Arts Festival, the Umlazi Arts Festival and an interesting collaboration with a Dutch theatre company. They are one of the busiest of the Twist groups, with a good public profile, are
taking a new work to this year’s National Arts Festival.
* Uthando Lwabaqulusi, based in Vryheid joined the Twist Project in March 2011. The group has formed close links with the Department of
Arts and Culture in the Zululand district, and have been assisting with running performance workshops for other groups. In addition to the Twist Projects, the group also created and performed plays for
government departments on women abuse and on sexual abuse. Their current plans involve performances at schools around the Vryheid area, and the creation of a theatre festival in the district.
* Big Brotherhood Productions, based in KwaMashu, joined the Twist Project in March 2011 as Just Don’t. Since then, they have grown into an independent and strong theatre group. As well as participating in all of the Twist projects, some of the individuals from the group were involved in education and theatre development projects with K-Cap. The group has embarked on a new performance project for 2012, and also hope to take “A Bull Called Bahlangane” to the National Arts Festival.
* Ubuntu Arts Development, based in KwaMashu, joined the Twist Project in March 2011. In addition to the Twist activities, the group has also managed to generate income through their work, performing for the International Olympic Committee as well as at other functions. The group has registered themselves as a Non-Profit organisation, and continue to grow. They are currently involved in the Playhouse Community Arts Festival project, and are taking a new work to the National Arts Festival.
Twist Projects Director, Roel Twijnstra, has recently returned from a trip to Nepal, where plans are afoot for a local project that will form part of the Twist International network. Roel was amazed by the enormous scope of work in Nepal, the wide and very accepting audiences, and the availability of funding for theatre projects. He found the environment very different to that of the South African local landscape, but also saw similarities in the need for the development of strong writers working in the theatre for development field. We hope that we will be able to institute an international exchange project with the groups in Nepal in the future.
Twist Nepal will kick off with a version of the Novel-Script project in December 2012. For more information, visit www.roeltwijnstra.nl/nepal-i-am-a-spoiled-rotten-fruit/