When The Fugard Theatre announced their plans to bring King Kong back to the South African stage, the pressure was on for them to find a woman bold enough to step into the iconic role of Joyce. After a two year search which spanned the world, Nondumiso Tembe was finally cast in the highly coveted role. Born in South Africa and raised in New York City, Nondumiso Tembe is the real deal. An accomplished stage and screen actress as well as a singer-songwriter and dancer, she has managed to excel in every medium that she has stepped into while remaining incredibly grounded and focused on her career. For a full biography, please click here. Continue reading
LJ Neilson arrived in South Africa six years ago and has rapidly become one of South Africa’s most in demand musical theatre performers. She has starred in some of South Africa’s biggest hits including Dirty Dancing, Singin’ in the Rain, Funny Girl and Saturday Night Fever for which she was honoured with a 2017 Naledi Award nomination. Later this year she will take on the role of Eva Perón, twice a week, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita which begins performance at Joburg’s Montecasino in October before transferring to Cape Town’s Artscape Opera House in December.
Magdalene Minnaar is one of those people who makes you question when she has time to sleep. She is the founder of Little Maestros and Biblioteek Productions, where she also serves as Artistic Director. She is an accomplished actress and singer, having performed the coveted role of Christine Daaé in the international touring production of The Phantom of The Opera as well as performing alongside Josh Groban during his tour to South Africa last year. Currently she is directing Calling Me Home, a highly anticipated new musical which is about to take South Africa by storm. We sat down to chat about the many hats that she has worn during her career. Continue reading
Less than a year ago, Esther Nasser was named CEO of Joburg Ballet. As a choreographer, Nasser has created an extensive repertoire of new works to both commissioned and existing music and soundtracks, winning several awards for choreography. Nasser became involved in transformation in dance and theatre before South Africa achieved democracy in 1994 and remains actively involved in the process. She has established community and outreach projects, winning the Gauteng Achievement Community/Outreach Award in 1999. Nasser has also taught and lectured at leading SA universities and technikons, and has choreographed and directed extensively for television. Continue reading
Actress and artist, Jemma Kahn returns to the Alexander Bar with In Bocca al lupo, her latest Kamishibai endeavor. Following the breakout success that was Epicene Butcher and We Didn’t Come To Hell For The Croissants, Jemma has become the pioneer of not only the Kamishibai style in South Africa but for boldly creating her own boundary-pushing work. Continue reading
Nicole Franco is a stage and screen actress currently starring in the Broadway and West End smash-hit, The Play That Goes Wrong which is currently playing at Theatre on the Bay following a sold out run in Johannesburg. A returned season of the production has just been announced for Joburg later this year. In addition to acting, Nicole also works as a second language teacher. We sat down to discuss this hilarious new play and her diverse career. Continue reading
Sylvaine Strike is an award-winning actress, director and theatremaker as well as the artistic director and co-founder of Fortune Cookie Theatre Company. In 2012 she received critical acclaim for her direction of Molière’s The Miser. In the last month she has won a SAFTA award for best supporting actress for her role in Those Who Can’t, and received a Kanna nomination for her direction of DOP at the KKNK fees. Her latest production of Molière’s Tartuffe has just launched on it’s national tour. Continue reading
Jacqui-Lee Katz, Flavia Motsisi and Zoe Chiriseri are three core board members of SWIFT. SWIFT stands for Sisters Working in Film and Television. They are a South African based NPO for women in film & TV. Sarafina Magazine sat down with Jacqui-Lee, who heads up their Social Media and Marketing committee, Flavia, who works in the Skills and Mentorship subcommittee and Zoe, who works within the organisational structure, to learn more about this brand new and vital organisation.
Carlynn de Waal-Smit is essentially a superhero in the industry. She is an agent and founder of Contractors Artists. She is also an advocate for the rights of professional actors, serving as the National Secretary of SAGA, a guild which she helped form. She also serves on the executive board of the PMA. For the past few years, Carlynn has championed for fair and ethical treatment of performers in the industry. We sat down to discuss SAGA, the misconceptions surrounding being an agent and the future for actors in South Africa. Continue reading
Hayleigh Evans is a theatremaker and co-founder of POPArt, an independent Johannesburg based theatre, production company and performing arts centre that is located in the heart of Maboneng. Now in its 6th year, POPArt has become a staple in the Johannesburg theatre industry and has helmed some of South Africa’s most exciting, edgy and celebrated work. Continue reading