This weekend project involves the six Twist theatre groups working together with final-year drama students from the Drama Studies Department of the Durban University of Technology (DUT). The workshop involves a collaborative play-making and improvisation process and sharing experiences of the processes of how theatre is conceived and created in different ways and for different ends.
National Arts Festival – Remix Lab
The Remix-Lab project is an intensive 10 day workshop process that the 6 Twist groups attend. This includes performance skills workshops and other theatre skills, as well as administrative and management skills. The programme also includes the groups showcasing their work and seeing a wide range of other productions, to develop their critical eye and broaden their horizons by exposing them to a greater world of theatre. As part of the National Arts Festival, the groups get to experience this vibrant annual event in Grahamstown.
The Novel-Script project brings together script-writers from South Africa and the Netherlands for an exciting 10-day writing workshop. Using a common novel as a starting point, these writers create scenes that are brought to life by a group of talented actors and directors. Under the tutelage of an experienced dramaturge, the workshop process is a mentored learning process allows the writers to see what works in their scenes, and what needs to be changed to bring their work to greater dramatic potential.
Young Scriptwriters Workshop
This workshop is focused around developing the writing skills of young writers from the Twist theatre groups. In this 2-day workshop, participants are taken through a process from concept to script – taking their own seeds of ideas and growing them into plans for plays. This involves exploring issues of character, plot, dialogue, rhythm and staging, to explore and develop the dramatic potential of new work for the Twist groups.
New Play-making Process
Each of the Twist groups is allocated a professional theatre director and a writer who work with them in a mentoring and guiding capacity to create a new production for the group. This collaborative process allows both the professionals and the groups to engage with new ideas, learn new ways of working, and work towards a vibrant new production that will be staged in the group’s own community.
Working with their new scripts, and with the input from professional directors, the Twist groups will perform their new works in their own communities. Twist provides a production budget for each group, and the group mentors assist them to find appropriate local partners, such as NGOs and other social groups to support their efforts. Each group is required to do a minimum of three performances in their own area. It is hoped that the groups will then also take their plays further afield, under their own steam, and find ways to turn this into an income-generating opportunity.
Isigcawu Theatre Festival
The groups present their work at the annual Isigcawu festival at Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu. This is a competition-based festival of hand-selected community theatre works from around KZN. The Twist groups perform their work as a showcase for the other participating community groups.
Musho Theatre Festival
The Twist groups attend and perform at the annual PANSA Musho Theatre Festival. This remarkable festival hosts one and two-hander plays, and the writers from the Novel-Script Project work with the groups to adapt their new work to fit into this format. The groups watch other professional productions at the festival, and attend workshops. There is an important chemistry created between the Twist Theatre groups and other theatre professionals who appear at the festival.
Stable Theatre Festival
The Stable Phambili Youth Theatre Festival aims to bring together innovative productions from all over Africa, with a focus on youth-related issues. The Twist groups perform their new work at this festival.
The festival is followed by an evaluation process, where the groups evaluate the annual Twist programme, and evaluate their own growth and development throughout the year. This is also linked to planning for the up-coming year for Twist.