Afda students to stage experimental works

The Afda Port Elizabeth crew of ‘The Bird Street Opera’
The Afda Port Elizabeth crew of ‘The Bird Street Opera’
Image: Supplied

Afda Port Elizabeth’s third annual Experimental Festival will see the skills of its third-year students put to the test on Saturday June 15, with a full day’s showcase of a stage production and films produced by them.

The festival is part of the students’ experimental semester project in which they get to test their creative limits in their respective mediums.

The carnival-themed festival will include an assortment of food trucks and art exhibitions.

Afda Port Elizabeth head of film school Melissa Evans said: “Festivals of this nature, held annually on the part of each Afda campus respectively, work to expose local audiences to local narratives, voices and talents, produced and performed in local settings and contexts.”

The Port Elizabeth campus will host five experimental films and one stage production.

The Bird Street Opera, a stage production directed by Jen Schneeberger, is an adaptation of Berthold Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera. The play explores the underbelly of SA and specifically Port Elizabeth society through MacHeath, the queen of thieves in a world of beggars and crooks, who makes the brazen decision to marry the daughter of the king of the beggars.

In producer Isaiah Lindstrom’s Afro-Bohemian Psychedelic Drama, Zola is a hardworking young man living with his wife, Linda, and her uncle in an unstable household dynamic. The stress leads to Zola turning to a spiritual healer, who takes him on a journey of personal growth.

A String of Memory, produced by Tshilidzi Faith Mauna, is about an Alzheimer’s sufferer, Anna, who begins to recollect memories of her past and rediscovers her love for painting.

In Ayabulela Willem’s Bloom, St Joseph’s Academy for Girls bans creative expression as it is seen as unstructured thinking.But Ophelia Botha and her best friend, Zoë Dlamini, instigate a creative revolution, incurrng the wrath of the headmistress and headgirl.

Self-doubt takes centrestage in Ross Annear’s Doubtful as two young women, Faith and Lita, seek genuine human connection and keep crossing each other’s paths by chance, only to have their own self-doubt stand in the way.

In Nobulali Gcolotela’s Lucky Punch, two young female boxers, Nkosi and Nomvula, are set to face each other in the boxing ring at the Port Elizabeth 2019 lightweight championship. Over and above the physical match, the two are fighting for more, with Nkosi trying to break free from poverty and Nomvula seeking respect as a female boxer in a patriarchal sports system.

The festival will run from 10am to 5pm at the Afda Port Elizabeth campus at 28 Bird Street, Central. Tickets are R50 at the campus reception or from the film producers: Lindstrom on 083-321-1222, Mauna on 073-309-5194, Willem on 065-298-5843, Annear on 079-057-1680 and Gcolotela on 081-706-8905.

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