Press Release: Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival

July 9, 2014

Celebrating Women’s Day and Women’s Month, the 8th Women’s Humanity Arts Festival will take place at Artscape Theatre Centre from 6 - 9 August 2014. The theme of the 2014 festival is HUMANITY and the objective this year is to celebrate and salute those women who actively strive to better their own lives and the lives of countless other women in our society today.  The festival includes, as it has for the past seven years, the disabled community, the disenfranchised community and women and men from all walks of life. The Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival is Artscape’s response to highlight the lack of “humanity” which marginalized groups face on a daily basis in South Africa, with particular emphasis on women and the disabled. 


Spread over the week leading up to Woman’s Day, the Women’s Humanity Arts Festival brings together a wide variety of events. Entertainment and information offer festival attendants a chance for their voices to be heard. The programme is crammed with opportunities to celebrate being a woman in Cape Town. Prepare to be enthralled and excited with world-class stage productions and empowering workshops. Song and poetry, art exhibits, book launches and a groundbreaking launch of a website specifically designed for disabled women, plus a women’s humanity walk, add up to an empowering week with something for everyone, and to which everyone is invited. Positive and uplifting, the programme is a kaleidoscope of events reflecting the Artscape ethos and focusing firmly on women’s roles in society. 


“It is our hope that all the festival attendants and stakeholders who participate in the activities will leave Artscape on 9 August feeling celebrated and honoured for being a human being and a Woman,” explains Marlene Le Roux, Artscape’s director of Audience Development and Education.



Stage Productions:


Hatched is an autobiographical work created by the award-winning dancer and choreographer Mamela Nyamza performed at the Artscape Arena on 6 and 8 August at 20:30 and 17:00 respectively. Hatched reflects on Nyamza’s life as a mother and as an artist. It seeks to convey deeply personal and challenging issues of culture, tradition and a woman’s evolving sexuality within the customary rites and rituals of marriage, until she realizes her true identity.  Performing alongside Mamela is Amkele Mandla. Ticket price R80.


Tannie Dora Goes Bos is a hilarious, dark murder mystery offering the perfect combination of comedy, drama and suspense from first time playwright Warren Meyer and acclaimed director Jeremeo Le Cordeur (Dress to Impress; Pizza's Here; Risk; February 14th). Taking to the stage at the Artscape Arena on 6 and 9 August at 18:00 and 12:00 respectively, it’s an open and shut case for the Franschhoek Police Department when Theadora Louw, known to all as “Tannie Dora”, confesses to the murder of Willem Johannes. The cast includes Andre Lombard, Anton Jeftha, Dean van Der Ventel, Khalil Kathrada and Kim Syster. Ticket price R80.


Rondomskrik is the story of Antjie Fortuin, a teenager with all the potential to work her way to a better life. It’s a story that plays out daily on the Cape Flats, in Delft, Soweto, Bellville or Grassy Park.  Antjie has to work with her talents but also has to deal with the very real dangers of violence, drugs, alcohol and rape.  The cast includes Shaleen Surtie-Richards, Lee-Ann van Rooi, Crystal Donna Roberts, and Richard September.  A must see on 7 and the 8 August at 20:00. Ticket price R80.


I Stand Corrected is a powerful story told through haunting and sometimes absurdly comical physical theatre, with songs, dance, music and drama.  The production is an artistic response to homophobic and transphobic, hate rape and murder as well as a beautiful, uplifting memorial that takes place at the Artscape Arena on 7, 8 and 9 August at 20:15.  Created by Mojisola Adebayo and Mamela Nyamza, I Stand Corrected is the first collaboration ever by these two outstanding international artists.  I Stand Corrected was nominated for six London Off West End Theatre awards including best director, best play and best choreography. Ticket price R80.


The other productions that fall under the festival umbrella are Three’s Company ballet production at the Opera House on 8 August at 19:30 and 9 August at 14:00 and 19:30 respectively; R125 – R200.  Divalicious Dames - 15 and 16 August at 20:15 at the Artscape Arena.



Freedom’s Child was born out of a need to pay homage to one of South Africa’s greatest literary activists, James Matthews - marrying poetry and jazz on 9 August at 15:00 at the Artscape Arena. Melanie Scholtz, Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2010, thrills audience as she uses James’ words on her album “Freedom’s Child” (2011) produced by Mark Fransman and acclaimed British saxophonist Soweto Kinch as well as an array of South Africa’s finest jazz musicians. The album comes to life with Melanie Scholtz, Mark Fransman, Brydon Bolton, Kevin Gibson, Justin Bellairs and of course, James Matthews. Ticket price R80.


The festival finale is a dazzling concert on 9 August at 20:00, Women in Song, directed by Sophia Foster.  Featuring artists are Thembi Mtshali-Jones, Sylvia Mdunyelwa, Zanne Stapelberg, Vicky Sampson, Sarah Theron, Fancy Galada, Zelda Benjamin, Tina Schouw and world-renowned poet, Diana Ferrus.  The concert will also feature the South African Circle of Dance Academy directed by Gladys Bullock.   The Musical Director for the event is Janine Neethling. Ticket price R100.


Book launches: 

Books to be launched at the festival include “Karoo Kitchen” by Sydda Essop, “Forgiveness” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu & Rev Mpho Tutu, and the 2nd edition publication by poet, novelist and political activist James Matthews entitled “Age is a beautiful phase”. The festival offers stimulating conversation, the “Forgiveness” book discussion takes place on 9 August from 11:00 – 12:00.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Rev Mpho Tutu explain the four-step process of forgiveness – Telling the Story, Naming the Hurt, Granting Forgiveness and Renewing or Releasing the Relationship – as well as to offer meditations, exercises and prayers to guide the reader along the way.  


Other events: 

Meet the Woman Zone team and hear Philippa Kabali – Kagwa’s story at the 13 women storytelling session Friday 8 August at 17:30. 

CAPE TOWN’S WOMEN ARE WALKING…from St George’s Cathedral to Artscape to celebrate Women’s Day, (August 9) to unify the Mother City, to mark the achievements of women and to claim their place in Cape Town. All are invited to participate in this Walk of unity, solidarity and celebration. The Women’s Humanity Walk, coordinated by Woman Zone, Artscape and SAFFI (SA Faith and Family Institute), will be addressed and blessed by Interfaith leaders at St George’s Cathedral and will end at Artscape to coincide with the commencement of the Woman’s Day events of the Artscape Women Humanity Arts Festival. Details or facebook: womanzonect


The festival will also host a visual arts exhibition by Dawn De Grass and a photo exhibition, “Every Mother has hopes and dreams for her Children” by Clive Gray.  


Artscape paves the way for a powerful woman, Karen Smit who is a businesswoman, entrepreneur and mother with a disability who will launch a website, WAND (Women’s Achievement Network for Disability) on 7 August. 


Workshops hosted at the festival:

The South African Women in Construction Western Cape – 9 August at 09:45 – 11:00

Know Your Rights Law Workshops – Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre – 9 August:

• Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences:  10h00-10h35  

• Labour Laws in respect of Disabled persons: 10h50-11h25

• Children and the Age: 11h40 – 12h15 

• Consumer Rights/Protection: 12h30-13h00 


Health screenings for blood glucose and blood pressure will be conducted by the TB/HIV Care Association and CANSA will be taking care of the breast screenings for all festival-goers.


The HIV Dialogue, “The Good News” led by professor Linda-Gail Bekker, Deputy Director and Chief Operations Officer of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation takes place on 9 August. The dialogue will deal with, amongst others, issues about the stigma surrounding HIV and how people living with HIV contribute actively to humanity and how they live normal lives.  


The Women’s Hope Education and Training (WHEAT) Trust is once again hosting an award ceremony in celebration of, and to acknowledge the grassroots women leaders throughout the Western Cape on 7 August.  


Press release provided by Lika Tolken.

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