Schools play it out for top awards in drama

Pericles Anetos

TWO plays that seem worlds apart have made it through to the provincial finals of the prestigious FNB Alexander Playhouse Festival in October.

The contemporary play Kindred Spirits, from Collegiate High School, penned by drama teacher Anabel Stindt, focuses on the writings of Ingrid Jonker and Sylvia Plath.

It touches on many universal themes, including love, loss and longing.

Pearson High School’s submission, Frenzy, was penned by drama teacher Linda-Louise Swain and focuses on school initiation, mob mentality and their consequences.

“I wanted to really get across to them … how human nature just changes even the most moderate of people,” Swain said.

Swain’s play takes place in a situation where a dean has banned the practice of initiating new students at a university. Yet a number of students defy the ban.

The ringleader and 11 others initiate an unsuspecting victim and the situation degenerates into a frenzy, with horrific consequences.

Meanwhile, Kindred Spirits revolves around two central characters, a young girl about to leave school and an older writer. These two characters communicate through letters and share the works and inspiration of Ingrid Jonker and Sylvia Plath.

“While some people might think of these two poets as depressing, especially considering their suicides, I think their work and bravery in dealing with their struggles are inspirational.” Stindt said.

Kelsey Scheepers, a Grade 10 pupil who is one of four cast members, said: “My favourite aspect of the play is how the two poets never met each other but their lives were so similar.”

The two productions have been selected from the initial round of the competition. They now face eight other productions. The final three will be selected for re-performance by the chief provincial adjudicator, Deon Opperman.

Opperman will present the awards at a gala evening on October 12.

Pearson won the Lynette Alexander Floating Trophy and a R10000 cash award for their production of Exhibit X last year.


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