A Conversation with Gina Shmukler

Gina Shmukler has been in the entertainment industry since she was six years old. In her career, her theatre work as an actress, director and producer, has garnered ten theatre nominations and four awards across different genres ranging from Mamma Mia and Chess, to Master Class and Silk Ties. In 2013, after completing her Master’s Degree in Drama at the University of Witwatersrand, Gina was the proud recipient of the Dr Sibongile Khumalo Creative Research Award. Her select directorial credits include; The Line, Lost in the Stars, Songs for a New World, The Market Theatre’s Brer Rabbit, Beautiful Creatures, Love: A Musical Revue, The Last Five Years and The Whole Megillah. Having taken a performance hiatus, Gina returned to the stage in 2017 in Mike van Graan’s Helen of Troyeville. At the end of 2018, she returned to her musical theatre roots by stepping into Aunty Merle the Musical, which makes its way to Joburg Theatre following three sold-out engagements in Cape Town.

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A Conversation with Bethany Dickson

Bethany Dickson is a Naledi and Fleur du Cap Theatre Award nominated actress. For more than a decade, Bethany has been charming South African and international audiences by tackling some of musical theatres most iconic roles. After making her debut in High School Musical, she has since gone on to perform in Singin’ in the Rain, Sunset Boulevard, The Sound of Music and Grease. We sat down with her to chat about her latest role, portraying Miss Honey in the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved classic, Matilda.
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A Conversation with Kim Louis

Kim Louis made her professional debut at 17 years old in David Kramer and Taliep Petersen’s musical Poison. She then went on to star in Klop–Klop at the Baxter Theatre which celebrated the 10-year partnership between the two writer/composers. Following that, Kim reunited with David Kramer and Taliep Peterson once more when she was cast as Lucy Dixon in their hit musical, Kat and the Kings at the Baxter Theatre. The production received international attention and later went on to be performed on the West End and Broadway. Following her time on Broadway, Kim returned home and focused her attention on starting a family. She continued to feed her theatrical soul by performing at the Milnerton Playhouse Amateur Dramatic Society. Not long after joining, she won best female lead in the musical tribute to Carole King. Today, she is also a council member on the board of the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha and recently launched Centre Stage Vocal & Performance Coaching. After a 20 year hiatus, Kim is back on the professional stage starring as Dinah in David Kramer’s brand new musical, Langarm, which runs at the Fugard Theatre.

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A Conversation with Claire Taylor

Claire Taylor is an actor, singer, dancer and voice artist. Her select credits include West Side Story, Rock of Ages (Naledi nomination), Dirty Dancing, Sunset Boulevard and Cabaret, for which she was nominated for a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award. She has worked in theatres and countries all over the world including Australia, Italy, China and the USA. She has also featured on various local and international voice campaigns. Claire is the founder and director of a promotional and events staffing agency, and experiential entertainment company, Promotiv, which she launched in January 2018. She is currently starring as Mrs Wormwood in the South African premiere of Matilda Continue reading

A Conversation with Carmen Pretorius

Carmen Pretorius is a Naledi and Fleur du Cap nominated musical theatre and televison actress, qualified makeup artist and presenter. After getting her professional start by winning the televised High School Musical competition, she went on to star in notable productions including Mamma Mia, Footloose, Jersey Boys and most recently The Sound of Music, which sees her taking on the role of Maria. We sat down with Carmen, ahead of the final week of the production, to chat about her “metamorphic” journey with the show.

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A Conversation with Sihle Ndaba

Triple threat, Sihle Ndaba is well-known to South African audiences for her award-winning role as ‘Smangele Maphumulo’ in SABC 1’s hit primetime soap Uzalo, for which she won the Simon Sabela Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2015. She is currently making a return to her musical theatre roots by starring as ‘Petal’ in The Fugard Theatre’s return season of King Kong. We sat down with her to chat about joining the illustrious company and navigating the fame that comes along with starring on South African television.
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A Conversation with Tarryn Lamb, Carmen Maarman and Zandile-Izandi Madliwa

Tarryn Lamb, Carmen Maarman and Zandile-Izandi Madliwa have joined forces to star in the Baxter Theatre’s smash-hit new musical, Aunty Merle, The Musical. Devised by and starring Marc Lottering, Aunty Merle features a score of 21 brand new songs, 12 of which were written by Tarryn. Zandile-Izandi returns to the Baxter after joining the cast of The Fall earlier this year, while Carmen returns to the stage after her recent turn in District Six: Kanala. We sat down with Tarryn, Carmen and Zandile-Izandi to chat all about this new production.  Continue reading

A Conversation with Edith Plaatjies

Vocalist and actress, Edith Plaatjies is no stranger to the musical theatre stage. In the past five years she has dazzled audiences in productions such as Orpheus in Africa, District Six: Kanala and Blood Brothers, but it is her latest role that has everyone buzzing. As King Kong prepares to make its return to Cape Town, Edith is stepping into the iconic role of ‘Joyce.’ A role which launched its originator, Miriam Makeba, into international stardom.  Continue reading

A Conversation with Nondumiso Tembe

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

A Conversation with LJ Neilson

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.
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