Innovating change and new direction in the 26th annual Zwakala Festival

The Market Theatre’s Incubation Programme is funded by the Department of Arts & Culture

26th Zwakala Festival
Free Entry
@The Barney Simon Theatre

Over the past 26 years the Market Theatre’s Zwakala Festival has produced numerous plays which have gone on to perform in other festivals and other theatres. The Festival has also unearthed countless talented writers, directors and actors whose skills have been enhanced by their participation in the Festival’s development workshops. The Zwakala Festival is known for pioneering a template for several other community festivals across the country.

This year, the Festival has introduced an exciting innovation with the appointment of a Resident Festival Director, Themba Mkhoma, who was recruited to develop and strengthen the scripts, intensify the fieldwork programme and offer intensive guidance in directing and staging of the shortlisted productions.

“Community theatre festivals are a creative barometer of the social, political and economic tensions in South Africa. The productions reflect and mirror what is happening in the South African communities. It brings to the surface what young people are grappling with in their communities and in their daily lives”, said James Ngcobo, the Market Theatre Artistic Director

This year the Market Theatre will present a trimmed festival with four community-based theatre companies showcasing new works that have been shortlisted from the Kolapeng Showcases where 8 productions were seen by three judges. The top four productions were selected for further intensified workshops with carefully selected mentors assigned to each of the groups.

The groups have made brave decisions to include 80% indigenous languages in their productions this year. The productions have been written in poetic isiZulu, isiXhosa and in  local dialects. The playwrights and directors have brought their heritage to light in penning down works which puts the spotlight on their rich heritage and how young people are engaging with their roots.

“The Zwakala Festival is a catalyst for the development of community theatre and it an opportunity at the Market Theatre to celebrate both the talent and raw skills that is so rich in  township theatre in Gauteng. The Festival is the ultimate and unique way for the community-based organisations and artists to find their way on to the stages of the Market Theatre”, says Zama Buthelezi, the Market Theatre Foundation’s Brand & Communications Manager.

The Zwakala Festival is sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture’s Incubation Fund aimed to assist emerging practitioners in the creative arts to hone their skills through mentorship and propel them from amateur to professional status.

Barney Simon Theatre 10 & 11 November 2018

Released by Market Theatre Foundation Publicity Department

Lusanda Zokufa – Senior Publicist Market Theatre Foundation
011 832 1641 ext 123 or 072 367 7867