The Waterfront Theatre School (WTS) in Cape Town is headed to Russia this month. A group of students from the prestigious performing arts school in Cape Town has once again been invited by The University of Theatre Arts in Moscow with the support of the Presidential Grant Fund, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Moscow Culture Department to take part in the 3rd BRICS Countries Drama Schools Festival from May 27 to June 6, 2019.
The project has also received support from the Western Cape Department of Arts and Culture, Proud Partners, the South African National Dance Trust (SANDT) and The M Lahann Trust. The Festival seeks to examine how Performing Arts Colleges in BRICS countries explore typically Eurocentric styles of theatre while maintaining cultural relevance and resonance. This year the festival topic is Greek Theatre and the chosen text is Oedipus Rex. All participants are required to prepare extracts from the text for performance.
The Waterfront Theatre School is focusing on the choral scenes in Oedipus Rex. The conceptual idea for their performance is to relate traditional African practices of worship, prophecy, protest, celebration and mourning to the ancient text. The focus is specifically on Xhosa traditions and this year the WTS ensemble cast will comprise eight students.
This is the third time that the Waterfront Theatre School is attending the festival. The main event will take place in the impressive 1500 seater amphitheatre in Zaryadye Park, a contemporary space in central Moscow that is located close to Red Square. Festival audiences are able to watch rehearsals and performances and this year it’s anticipated that more than 100,000 people with attend the festival.
"The Festival provides an amazing opportunity for us to share our culture and to be part of the global community”, says Delia Sainsbury, WTS Founder and Managing Director, “the relationships fostered between the various institutions taking part is hugely beneficial to broadening the international network and truly transforms the experiences of the students”.
Other institutions taking part this year include The University of Beijing, The University of Delhi and the Casa de Artes Das Laranjeiras in Brazil. This year the festival will also be joined by delegates from Armenia and Georgia.