HEADING to Grahamstown today are the casts and crews of no fewer than six productions that have been nurtured under the umbrella of the PE Opera House and which will come to life on National Arts Festival stages from tomorrow.
PE Opera House producer Tobela Fibi said yesterday everything was on track for a successful run of all six shows.
“We have managed to complete all the rehearsals needed for the festival and had our last rehearsals yesterday [Monday].
“The casts and crews are now busy doing everything else necessary in terms of organisation to ensure there is not going to be any havoc whatsoever,” Fibi added.
He said the entire team was made up of 53 cast and crew members and they were all motivated to perform at their very best.
“They know why they have been chosen to do this and we are confident that they will perform professionally at the highest level.”
The Opera House festival initiative was the result of a collaboration among a string of regional and national arts institutions, including the Performing Arts Council of the Eastern Cape and the National Arts Council.
According to organisers, the six productions represent diversity at its best.
Theatre and film doyenne Nomhle Nkonyeni directs an ensemble cast in Truck Driver being presented at the Masonic Back venue which tackles the price women pay for the new found freedom of education.
Cracked Mirror is New Brighton writer Buntu Mahola’s miners’ story told through music and humour which is also being staged at the Masonic Back.
Mawawa, a Florist at Memory Hall is a sensitive work by Xolisa Ngubelanga which scrutinises the language of love flowers speak.
Monologues 1st Gear is a progression of personal and musical responses to themes of betrayal and witchcraft, lost love and the revelation of education.
It is being staged at Kingswood Theatre along with Monologues 2nd Gear – a work of dance and drama dealing with mob justice against innocent women and the irony of freedom’s promises amid poverty.
Finally, award-winning dramatist Simphiwe Vikilahle brings Sleeping Dogs to the festival.
Set in Transkei, the play – at Vicky’s – tests the strength of faith in the traditional role of a woman to bear an heir, when out of desperation, adultery is her only solution. For dates and times of performances, visit the festival website www.nationalartsfestival.co.za