OuR FinAL ScHo0Ls FeStiVals ArE ARoUnd tHe CorNeR!

The Grahamstown Foundation’s annual SASOL Gauteng Schools Festivals are here again and will see 1 000 delegates from all around the province taking part in an exciting display of some of South Africa’s top productions, lectures and workshops!

Date: 13 – 14 and 15 – 16 Septmeber 2011
Where: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Fee: R340 per delegate (Grade 11’s only)
Contact: schools.festival@foundation.org.za / 046 603 1107 / 046 603 1122

Workshops:
Learners will be given the opportunity to sharpen skills, discover new passions, build self-confidence and explore different ways of expressing themselves. They will be able to make the most of the opportunity to interact with experts and be aided in exploring their own creative potential.

Lectures:
THREE challenging lecture-demonstrations will be given during the festval, with each learner having an option as to which lecture they would like to attend. These sessions give learners the chance to ask questions, grapple with and learn from the best in the Arts Industry.

Theatre:

Popular and energetic Ash and Bradley Searle (Follow Spot Productions) present their critically acclaimed comedy, Big Boys Don’t Dance:
A show made up of energetic and jaw- dropping dance moves and hilarious antics! The dancing brothers prove that, actually, big boys do dance, and they demonstrate just how manly dancing can be, especially when there’s a fantastic storyline tying it all together. The show is a satirical look at the pre-wedding experiences of an average South African man with a less than macho past his comic brother won’t let him forget. Big Boys Don’t Dance received a Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award at the 2010 National Arts Festival and played to sold out audiences at the 2011 National Arts Festival.

After performing to sold-out audiences in Cape Town and receiving high acclaim at the 2011 National Arts Festival, Director Fred Abrahamse brings Shakespeare’s R&J to the Gauteng Schools Festivals:
Set in an exclusive boarding school, four pupils discover an illicit copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and start acting it out. Perceptions and understandings are turned upside down as the fun of play acting turns serious and the words and meanings begin to hit home and universal truths emerge. Highly energetic and told entirely through Shakesperean language, physical and packed with the energy of youth, this really is Shakespeare at his most accessible and daring.

Receiving a Golden Ovation Award at the 2010 National Arts Festival, The Butcher Brothers (directed by Sylvaine Strike) brings together  the likes of  Jaques Da Silva and Mongi Mthombeni  in a moving story of Laughter and Slaughter:
In an old butcher shop at the edge of town, two muttering old men (a retired ballroom dancer and his loyal servant) arrive for the day’s work. Inside the shop today however, a slumberous package is waiting to be discovered. “Beautifully crafted by Sylvaine Strike and conceptualised by Daniel Buckland, and artfully executed by a talented cast. This show will have you laughing and gasping at its macabre and wonderful content.” – Cue, 2010

New to the Schools Festivals genre of Theatre, Pieter Bosch Botha brings to the stage a funny and enchanting Cabaret entitled, Rose Red:
With her sparkling charm and biting wit, critically acclaimed actress Dianne Simpson effortlessly transforms herself into one of the most infamous characters in the history of fairy tales, only this time the ‘Evil’ Queen is here to tell a very different version of the classic story we all know so well. Vanity, self-esteem, longing to belong, romance, being misunderstood and the darker side of all human beings are all themes that are explored in this enlightening cabaret. The Queen’s ghostly figure stands alone in the place where she met her Stepdaughter for the last time. Why her? Has she been brought back to face the so-called atrocities she had once inflicted, or has she finally been given the chance to tell her own story?

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About Schools Festival

The Grahamstown Foundation’s Arts Education Department runs several provincial festivals throughout South Africa. Festivals include the Sasol Schools Festival Series (Mpumalanga, Free State/Northern Cape, and Gauteng) for Grade Elevens and the Standard Bank National Schools Festival for Matrics. Our project serves to ignite a passion for South African arts and develop artists and arts consumers with a culture of ‘paying for the arts’. Self-expression and bridge-building between individuals and communities are focal points while platforms for performance encourage audiences to engage with the best South Africa has to offer encouraging emerging artists to discover and develop their own artistic skills. Some 6,000 participants benefit from these programmes nationally over the period of a year. The need is evident from the enormous demand by schools. Participants from across a wide economic divide get to literally ‘rub shoulders’ because the projects attract large numbers of participants from the most rural schools to the most wealthy. Opportunities to engage with diverse arts experiences is rare, as are opportunities for artistic performance and assessment. The festivals expose the youth to professional work and hands-on workshop experiences with artists. They also engage with intellectuals in lectures and demonstrations. Professionals are drawn from national experts committed to establishing a creative nurturing ground and a sustainable arts industry. Our Educational objectives are to supplement the often under-funded and under-resourced arts and culture components of school curricula recognised as essential to holistic education, by submerging learners in an intensive arts experience that is absent in schools. Further objectives are to expose learners to a range of genres, arts opportunities and career options while encouraging them to further explore opportunities in the arts.
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