Press: Third SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition nurtures SA playwright

September 22, 2014

The third SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition will give the chance for five local playwrights to develop their work, with three grand prizes to be won. The top entries for this annual competition will have their plays presented at nightly staged readings, with a professional director and cast, from 30 September to 3 October.  Each night will be hosted by a prominent member of the theatre community.

 

The readings take place from Tuesday 30 September to Friday 3 October at the Garrick Theatre, Waterfront Theatre School, as part of the inaugural Cape Town Fringe festival.  The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 4 October. 

 

The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organization which was established to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts and to help showcase it on an international stage. It seeks to create an accessible community of varied voices that can flourish through collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation.

 

The Trust created the SCrIBE Scriptwriting competition to provide new opportunities for local writers to fully develop their work.

 

“A script may go through many versions before it is a production that is presented on stage,” says Imbewu Trust co-founder Sam de Romijn. “With SCrIBE, we wanted to facilitate that process for playwrights, enabling them to get feedback on, and therefore evolve their text.

The overall winner will have their play professionally produced at a Cape Town theatre in 2015. Another winner will be able to have his or her script further developed, with a third prize of the Scribblers Dream, a financial prize to enable a writer to work alongside a mentor to develop their script. Each of the finalists will benefit from the opportunity to have a discussion with and feedback from the public and members of the theatre industry as part of the readings.   The panel of SCrIBE judges comprises a group of seasoned theatre practitioners.

 

A number of previous entrants have gone on to rework their text as a result of the open readings, and some on to further professional runs.

 

The 2014 finalists are: 4 Small Gods by Joanna Evans; Man in the Green Jacket by Eliot Moleba; The Great Beginning by Thomas Hopkins;  Last Cow Standing by Menzi Mkhwane and Dirt Road by Kim Sanssoucie.

 

Last Cow Standing  will be presented on Tuesday 30 September.  The play is an epic fantasy about a young boy, Samira, who is chosen to save the dying cow herds of his people from perishing.  It is the story of a hero’s journey, whose challenges reflect on the youth of South Africa, the youthful nature of our democracy and how imperative it is to shift from looking to leadership for all the answers and begin to search within ourselves.   

 

On Wednesday 1 October  Dirt Road will be read. The play explores the idosyncratic relationship between tradition and modernity and is a quirky but inherently tragic love story set in contemporary Johannesburg, that follows the relationship between a Xhosa man and an English-speaking Coloured woman.

 

On Thursday 2 October it’s the turn for 4 Small Gods.  4 Small Gods is a comic-tragedy that re-writes the ancient flood myth to examine contemporary relationships between people, animals, and the earth. Barriers between species, as well as barriers of language and theatrical convention, are destabilised on a storm-tossed boat.

 

On Friday 3 October, there will be a double bill. Man in the Green Jacket will be read, followed by The Great Beginning.

 

Man in the Green Jacket, a socio-political drama about a father and son living in the heart of the platinum belt. It examines how politics affect the personal, everyday, ordinary lives of miners and what it means to be a working class man and a father in today's South Africa.

 

The Great Beginning is a two-hander drama about a friendship between a writer, Travis Hawkins and lawyer, Charlie Andrews. It engages with the perceptions of ‘what it is to be young’, through the lens of two young people whose seemingly privileged lives belie the demons they face internally.

The SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition readings will take place from 30 September to 3 October at the Garrick Theatre at the Waterfront Theatre School with the awards ceremony on 4 October.  Tickets cost R50. Bookings can be made at www.capetownfringe.co.za

 

 

Writer biogs

Menzi Mkhwane (Last Cow Standing)

Son of celebrated South African theatre legend, Bheki Mkhwane,  Menzi Mkhwane graduated Cum Laude at the Durban University Technology after completing a National Diploma in Drama Studies (2010).  After successfully completing his last year of training he was chosen as one of four South Africans selected to perform in Holland; for the Dutch production of “Oliver Twist”; that was coordinated by Emma Durdan, Roel Twijnstra and directed by Jolanda van der Spoel under Theatre Groep Siberia.  He returned to South Africa (2011) and embarked on his first professional Durban performance debut with his father.   He then created his first professional work entitled “Pockets of Knowledge”; created alongside Sabelo Ndlovu his business partner and co-owner of Nu-Breed Theatre Company (2011).  This work was nominated for Best New South African Script at the Durban Mercury Theatre Awards (2012). He was then cast as one of six actors in the revival of the internationally acclaimed “Horn of Sorrow” by Nicholas Ellenbogen (2013).  He was also cast as a supporting character in South Africa’s first lokshin soap which premiered on DSTV’s Msanzi Magic where he played the supporting role of V12. (2013)

 

Kim Sanssoucie (Dirt Road)

Twenty-eight year old performing artist Kim Sanssoucie graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Performance; Media and Communications from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. Some of her theatre credits include lead roles in Shakespeare’s' A Midsummer Nights’ Dream (Hermia) and Twelfth Night(Viola)as well as the title role in the children’s' production of Cinderella and the British farce Noises Off. She debuted as a writer as well as acted in her stage play Ordered Love, which was accepted to be performed at The Musho! Theatre Festival Fringe. Thereafter she was cast in the musical revue Jamaican Jam and the drama and 5,6,7,8...staged at the Catalina Theatre in Durban. Her work saw her nominated for the Copy Dog Fools' Awards for Best Breakthrough Actress and the Durban Theatre Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Revue.

 

Her stage debut in Johannesburg was Steven Feinstein's The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, the final production of The Actors' Centre at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre. She co-wrote, acted and directed the children’s production How Rainbows Work at the Theatre at Foxwood House. As well as performing in Puss in Boots (Puss) at the National Children’s Theatre under director Joyce Levinsohn. A trained dancer with nine years’ experience in ballet, modern and tap dance, Kim was part of the Flatfoot Dance Company specialising in African contemporary dance under choreographer Lliane Loots.

 

Her national television debut was on SABC 1’s drama series Bay of Plenty which won Best Ensemble Cast and Full Length Drama Series at the 2009 SAFTAS. In 2010/2011 Kim worked on radio station Good Hope FM and in 2012 on SA’s number one digital radio station 2oceansviberadio.com on her show “Coloured In” both in Cape Town. In 2013, Kim wrote and starred in the stage play 'The Dirt Road' which debuted in Paris, France as part of the French Seasons 2013 cultural exchange festival at the American University of Paris and the LavoirModerneParisien Theatre and 2014 saw ‘the dirt road’ make its African debut at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Kim founded her live performance production company Slice Bean Machine in late 2013 which produced ‘the dirt road’ as its flagship project.

 

Eliot Moleba (Man in the Green Jacket)

Eliot Moleba is a Johannesburg based playwright, theatre-maker and director. He studied his Dramatic Arts degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. Moleba uses theatre to address relevant social issues affecting young people, especially the relationship between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ South Africa and how the transition affects youth identity. He was recently one of the playwrights in residence for ASSITEJ SA’s Inspiring A Generation programme, currently one of the playwrights in residence with The Royal Court Theatre, London, and an alumni of the Theatre Project with the DO School, Hamburg, Germany.

 

Credits include Pondoland (2014), How To Create The Perfect Woman (2014), The Immigrant (2014), The Man in The Green Jacket (2013/4), A letter to Nelson Mandela (2012), SizweBanzi is Alive (2011/2), Krapps Last Letter (2011), and The untitled (2010), among others.

 

Thomas Hopkins (The Great Beginning)

Thomas Hopkins was born and grew up in Johannesburg. He attended De La Salle Holy Cross College where he studied drama as a matric subject and acted in many school productions. In his final year, he was made Head of House as well as Head of Debating and Head of Public Speaking. He was also awarded an Honours Blazer and received the Dux Proxime award for academics. Thomas is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of the Witwatersrand and hopes to major in English Literature and History.

 

Joanna Evans (4 Small Gods)

Joanna Evans is a director, playwright and performer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She graduated with Distinction from the University of Cape Town with a degree in Theatre and Performance, specialising in Theatre Making. Her specialisation lies in the creation of new plays through a process of collaboration, improvisation and writing and she creates theatre for children, youth and adults. She has been awarded the ‘Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award’ for excellence for her production ‘The Year of the Bicycle’ at the 2013 National Arts Festival, the ‘Most Promising Student Director’ Award at the 2012 National Arts Festival and the 2012 Ruth Peffers trophy for Theatre Making. With her children’s theatre company ‘Pillow Fort Productions’, Joanna created the first professional South African show for babies (aged 1-4). Her plays have been performed at festivals in Italy, Germany and South Africa, and she has worked as an actor in residence in Yaounde, Cameroon for a UN funded project on migration.  Joanna’s areas of interest and specialisation include animal studies, and specifically modes of representing animals in performance, puppetry and object theatre, script-development, theatre for the very young, and intergenerational and cross-cultural performance.

 

Press release provided by Christine Skinner.

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