Simoné Benjamin is a stage, screen and radio actress and the Corporate Affairs Specialist at Distell. With an Instagram handle aptly named Corporate Actress SA, her work with Distell sees her merging the corporate and arts sectors as she initiates, manages and supports various arts projects including the Distell National Playwright Competition, the Technical Training Programme at Artscape, the Amazink Live programme as part of Woordfees and the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards, to name a few. As a performer, she has featured as the titular character in the radio drama Die Verdwyning van Mina Afrika as well as it’s sequel Die Tuiskoms van Mina Afrika. Simoné was most recently seen on screen in the short film Janneman, which debuted at this year’s Silwerskermfees. Continue reading
Amra-Faye Wright is an award-winning actress best known for portraying Velma Kelly in Chicago the Musical, both on Broadway, London’s West End and in international tours. She trained extensively as a classical and jazz dancer and began her career performing in the Spectacular Musical Revues at Sun City. She spent the following years developing her skills in many musical genres and obtained a diploma in Contemporary Music at Allenby College in Johannesburg, which has resulted in a versatile and eclectic performance style. After starring in Viva Sun City at Sun City Theatre, Amra-Faye left for Monte Carlo where she performed as lead artist in the world famous Cabaret du Casino for two years. Her gift for story-telling led her to write, and perform her first one-woman revue, Rouge Pulp, which enjoyed a sellout season and prompted her to write Drinks on Me and It’s Not Where I Start. In 2005, she was awarded the Naledi Theatre Award and the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for her performance in the South African production of Chicago. Continue reading
Janni Younge is a director and producer of multimedia, theatrical and visual performance works, with an emphasis on puppetry arts. Janni’s work has been performed widely internationally and she has gone on to be awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre, several Fleur du Cap awards for puppet design and the Nagroda award for direction. A former director of Handspring Puppet Company for four years, she currently runs Janni Younge Productions and concurrently directs UNIMA SA. Janni’s works include the creation and direction of Ouroboros which toured extensively in South Africa, Europe and India, The Firebird which toured in the USA and Take Flight, currently touring Europe. With Handspring, Janni also directed revivals of William Kentridge’s Woyzeck on the Highveld and Ubu and the Truth Commission and worked with Handspring on War Horse and on the Bristol Old Vic’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. She also created and directed puppetry for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Tempest.
Ilse Klink is an award-winning actor, singer and television personality. She is best known for the role of Vanessa Booysens on the daily soap, Isidingo. Her stage credits include Mamma Mia!, Rent, Chicago, Show Boat, Menopause -The Musical, Kristalvlakte, Scorched and Caeser, to name a few. She has graced South African television screens by appearing in Roer Jou Voete, iNkaba, 7de Laan and Broken Vows. Her movie credits include Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story, Cold Harbour, Dis ek, Anna and Stroomop for which she was recently awarded a 2019 SAFTA Golden Horn for Best Supporting Actress. Ilse is currently treading the boards as Mama Morton in Chicago, a role she has returned to for the third time, a decade after she played it last. Continue reading
Kanya Viljoen is a theatre-maker, performer and designer. Recently, Kanya wrote and directed RAAK, which debuted at the Vrystaat Kunstefees and was nominated as Best Production of the festival. Furthermore, it has been nominated for two Kyknet Fiësta Awards and is heading to US Woordfees 2019 for a limited run. Earlier this year, Kanya was awarded South African Theatre Magazine’s Best Emerging Director Award. In 2018, Kanya directed Like Hamlet, which was performed at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective as part of the Annex Theatre Bursary. Her script, mank, was selected for further development by Kunste Onbeperk’s Teksmark and she was awarded a writer’s bursary for this script. Currently, Kanya is an Andrew W Mellon scholar, completing her MA in theatre-making at the University of Cape Town.
Lee-Ann van Rooi is an actor, educator, producer and director. This year marks Lee-Ann’s silver jubilee in the South African professional entertainment industry. With numerous awards, nominations and credits stretching over the various mediums of Film, TV, Stage and Radio, both locally and internationally, this UCT graduate’s interests and skills are wide-ranging, innovative and resourceful. A keen storyteller, puppeteer, teacher, mentor, writer, producer and director, she is particularly interested in growing and creatively educating audiences and the entertainment industry in a responsible and fair way. Lee-Ann has recently been nominated for two awards at this year’s upcoming Fiëstas Awards. She is nominated as Best Actress for her work in Ingrid Winterbach’s Ons is almal Freaks Hier and for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Chase Rhys’ Kinnes. She is currently gearing up to star as The Duchess of York in Richard III which will begin performances at Maynardville open-air theatre in February.
Jill Levenberg is an award-winning Film, Television and theatre actress. At the moment, she is currently starring as Mymoena in the long-running TV series, Suidooster. She has been receiving critical acclaim for her role as Ellen Pakkies in Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story, which marks her first leading role in a film. Jill has worked extensively in theatre and television since graduating from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Theatre & Performance and English Literature, graduating on the Dean’s Merit List. Her theatre credits include Medea, Blood Brothers and Orpheus in Africa which awarded her a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. Select film credits include Noem My Skollie, Fluit Fluit, Abraham, While You Weren’t Looking and Uitvlugt. We sat down to chat with her about her career and her emotionally demanding and boundary-pushing role in Ellen. Continue reading
Jenny Stead is an actress currently starring as Judy Boone in the South African premiere of the West End and Broadway hit, The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time. After graduating from the University of Stellenbosch, she won the Vita award for Best New Actress for her performance in Fiona Coyne’s Glass Roots. Jenny won a Fleur du Cap for her performance in Reza de Wet’s Breathing In, followed by a tour through the USA and Europe with the New York Colonnade’s production of the politically charged, Truth In Translation. She was nominated for a Fleur du Cap for Best Actress in A Musical for her portrayal of Janet in The Fugard Theatre’s production of The Rocky Horror Show. Her fourth Fleur du Cap Nomination was for The Visit in 2018. Her film and television credits include The Poseidon Adventure, Starship Troopers 3, Restless, ICE and Blood Drive. Continue reading
Cintaine Schutte is an actress and producer. She has performed in more than 30 professional theatre productions and has toured to all the national art’s festivals and major theatre’s in South Africa. In 2015 she received a Kanna Award for her performances in Moeder Moed and Die Seemeeu and in 2016, she was awarded a Fleur Du Cap Theatre Award for her performance as Masha in Die Seemeeu. In 2017, she was awarded the Woordtrofees Award for her performance in Reza de Wet’s Drif. She is well-known for her Television work, including Die Kasteel, PHIL 101 and Fynskrif. She has appeared in numerous local films such as Knysna, Sonskyn Beperk and most recently, the film adaptation of Christiaan Olwagen’s Die Seemeeu which will arrive in theatres in 2019. Cape Town audiences can catch Cintaine in Half Leeg, directed by Tara Notcutt which will run at the Alexander Bar in November. Continue reading
Klara van Wyk is a performer and theatre-maker. During the 2018 National Arts Festival, she’ll be pulling double duty by performing in two productions. First up, she stars alongside Buhle Ngaba in Penny Youngleson’s La Chair de ma Chair followed by her one-woman show, You Suck! (and other inescapable truths), which has been on back-to-back sell-out tours across the country and earned her a Fleur du Cap nomination. Her dedication to anti-bullying campaigns and clowning workshops with young South Africans has earned her a unique position in the local performance landscape where she occupies roles in social justice and entrepreneurship as well as artistic expression. After studying under Master Clown Philippe Gaulier in Paris, she is currently completing her PhD in Clowning at Stellenbosch University.