Press Release: Passage

March 6, 2014

A new play, Passage, which tackles what it means to be a good man in SA today, is on at the Baxter for a short season this March.


Emerging young director Thando Doni and his cast of five actors tackle the question of what it means to be a good man in South Africa today with a brand new play, Passage, at the Baxter Flipside for a short season from 4 to 22 March at 11am (for schools) and 6pm (public performances).


Commissioned by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Passage was devised by Doni and the cast and is an exciting new collaboration between the Baxter Theatre Centre, Magnet Theatre and Zabalaza Theatre Festival.


“I am extremely excited by this new work as it stimulates much-needed debate around the issue of what it means to be a man in South Africa today. It encourages people to learn from one another, respect diversity and cultural difference, but more importantly embrace our common heritage,” says Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Mr Ivan Meyer.


He continues, “When we do so, we transcend our real and imagined barriers and create a space in which social inclusion and cultural warmth can thrive. The production also illustrates the power of partnerships and collaboration as it succeeds in bringing together the expertise of organisations such as the Baxter and Magnet Theatres and affording young actors and theatre directors the opportunity to transcend cultural barriers and give expression to the slogan Your Culture, my Culture, our Heritage.”


The Passage cast is made up of young rising talents Mkhuseli Richard Tafane (Caboose, Mhla Salamana), Nicholas Campbell (Salome, Between), Aphiwe Menziwa (Inxeba lomphilisi, Mhla Salamana), Daniel Richards (Brothers in Blood, Richard III) and Jeoffrey Makobela (Bash or be Bashed, Thabo Mbeki and other Nightmares). Set and costume design is by another young talent, Kabelo Chalatsane, and lighting design is by Benever Arendse.


The 28-year-old Doni is one of the most inspired, energetic and creative young directors in South Africa at the moment. He is a graduate of the Magnet Theatre Full-time Training and Job Creation Programme, a Zabalaza Theatre Festival Best Director winner and a recipient of the Theatre Arts Admin Collective Emerging Director’s Bursary. Productions which he has performed in include Trojan Horse Story, Looking Inside, Inxeba lomphilisi, Ingcwaba lendoda lise cankwe ndlela, Proximity and Loss and Having. His credits as director are Utopia, Malanga Awafani, Mhla Salamana and Heart of Darkness.


Through combining different styles such as physical movement, music, storytelling, poetry and rituals, Passage probes and looks at how boys grow into responsible, caring men. How do men engage with power without resorting to violence? It goes to the heart of the crisis of violence against women in South Africa. It not only explores the values, assumptions, fears and behaviours that allow such violence to be perpetrated but investigates, in our multicultural context, how boys transition into men.


“The play recognises the need to redefine what it means to be a man in today's world and reaches towards images of positive masculinity to light the passage through the darkness,” explains Doni. “Through a process of workshopping, the cast and I started out looking at our society in South Africa right now. We considered how men behave and where we are going as a country. We tapped into the violence and abuse against women and children, how men can take responsibility and stand their own ground, the demands of society in terms of status, the lack of male role models in our society, and the lack of respect amongst men as well as many other themes which speak to the issue. The scary reality is that, if we carry on in this way, what will happen in the future?”


Performed in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Sotho and Pedi, there is an age restriction of 12 years.


Passage previews on 4 March, opens on 5 and runs until 22 March at 11am (for schools) and 6pm except on 8 March when it starts at 8pm. Tickets cost R80 and booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet.


For discounted block bookings, charities, schools, corporate bookings and fundraisers, contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or


Press release provided by Alethea Patterson-Cordiglia.

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