Free directors’ workshop

Louise Liebenberg

THE Youth Theatre Project is gaining momentum in Nelson Mandela Bay, with a weekend workshop for budding directors next on the cards.

The two-day workshop will take place at the Savoy Theatre in Adcockvale next Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9, led by well-known Eastern Cape theatre personality Robin Williams.

Williams, an award-winning director of musical theatre and Theodor Herzl dramatic arts department head, is as renowned for her many diverse, high-quality stage productions as for her nurturing of new talent.

“The workshop is offered free of charge and is ideal for anyone interested in learning how to direct a theatrical production, whether a play (short and long), musical or dance,” said Damien Anderson, of the Eastern Cape branch of the Performing Arts Network of South Africa (Pansa) EC.

“It is aimed at young people who have an absolute love for theatre, but feel they are not necessarily cut out for being on the stage as such, but still want to be involved,” he said.

“We are looking for people with a creative flair who can take a writer’s vision, mould it into a workable product with guidance from a theatre mentor, then translate that vision through the actors to produce a wonderful piece of work.”

The Youth Theatre Project was the brainchild of Pansa EC’s head, David Limbert, and is funded by the Belgium-based theatre development organisation Africalia.

It kicked off with a very successful script-writing workshop at the Savoy last month, following which youngsters aged 15 to 25 were given until this Friday to submit their own original scripts for a play or musical.

“We are eagerly awaiting the entries and are very excited to see what we get,” Anderson said. “If your script is chosen you’ll have an amazing opportunity to work with some of SA’s top talents to put the work on the stage later this year, all under the banner of the Youth Theatre Project.”

In the coming months other aspects of theatre will also be covered, including acting, production management, public and media relations, set construction, props, musical composition and design. The latter may include scenic, costume, make-up, lighting and graphic design.

“Anyone can attend our upcoming directors’ workshop, including people who did the script-writing course,” Anderson said.

“We are looking to give as many young people as possible an opportunity to learn and grow within the project, and so there really are very few limitations.

“However, we can only select someone between the ages of 15 and 25 to be the chosen director for whichever script (or scripts) we settle on as our final play or musical to be staged towards the end of the year.”

Anderson said the Savoy would be the “home” of the project for its duration. “It gives us space to work in and we have a stage at our disposal.”

Next weekend’s participants must bring along a notepad and pen, and a packed lunch for each day or else money with which to purchase lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.

lFor more information about the directors’ workshop, or about the Youth Theatre Project, contact Rose Cowpar on 072-906-1977 or e-mail


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