Adele Blank is a choreographer, dance instructor and Director of Free Flight Dance Company, which she formed in 1987. She has trained, performed, choreographed and taught extensively in classical ballet and contemporary dance both locally and abroad. Since the beginning of the millennium, Adele’s artistic reach has extended far beyond the realm of dance. She has been responsible for numerous local and international TV adverts, movies, operas, fundraisers and a host of industrial theatre productions. Whilst coaching and teaching, she has created for many companies and is very involved in community and outreach programmes. Adele is a recipient of the Arts & Culture Trust Lifetime Achievement Award for Dance. We sat down to chat with her about devoting her life to dance and directing her latest project, Blue Violin, which will be performed at Artscape for a limited run. Continue reading
Barbara Mathers is an arts administrator, performing arts producer and events coordinator. Since 1998 she has managed Third World Bunfight, producing most of their productions and tours locally and internationally. She has produced events including the Performing Arts Network of South Africa competition of One Act Plays, the Festival of White Light on the Spier Estate from 2009 to 2011 and Talking Heads for Infecting the City Festival. She managed The Spier Arts Festivals for 2008 including the Poetry Exchange on the Spier Estate and the Performing Arts & Music Festivals presented in inner city venues of Cape Town. We sat down to chat about her involvement in Third World Bunfight as well as their latest production, Samson, which is heading to US Woordfees 2019.
Yvette Hardie is a theatre director, producer, educator and advocate, focusing on theatre for young audiences. She initiated the launch of ASSITEJ SA in 2007 and leads the organisation as Director. She is currently serving her third term as President of the international ASSITEJ, which networks across 100 countries. In 2017, she was responsible for hosting the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress & Performing Arts Festival, Cradle of Creativity, for the first time in Africa. She produced the award-winning Colonnades Theatre Lab production, Truth in Translation, seen by 55 000 people worldwide. For her own company, FreeVoice Productions, she produces national and international tours of Sindiwe Magona’s Mother to Mother. Her directing credits include Suzanne Lebeau’s The Ogreling and Mike van Graan’s Is it because I’m Jack? She is valued for her work in Arts Education, having written national curricula and textbooks for Dramatic/Creative Arts. Recently, she was awarded the Mickey Miner Award for Lifetime Achievement from IPAY for her contribution to theatre for young audiences locally and globally.
Nicolette Moses is the Associate Producer and Planning Manager for the Baxter Theatre, a position she has held since 2010. She is a trained classical ballet and contemporary dancer who graduated from the UCT School of Dance. Following a sojourn abroad, Nicolette joined the Jazzart Dance Theatre, which she managed before joining CAPAB as head of the Audience Development department. In the transition from CAPAB to Artscape, Nicolette worked as Project Manager and then Artistic Manager until 2001. During her time at Artscape, she also worked extensively with the Nederlands Dance Theater. She was appointed as Project Manager at the Baxter Theatre Centre in 2003, and shortly thereafter started heading up the annual Baxter Dance Festival. Now in its 14th year, we sat down with Nicolette to chat about this year’s festival.
Karen Meiring is the Director of M-Net kykNET channels, a position she’s held since 2013. She joined M-Net in 2009 as the head of Afrikaans channels and brought an extensive knowledge of the South African entertainment industry to her position. She has cemented kykNET as the leading producer of Afrikaans film and television content and ushered in successful projects under kykNET such as the Fiëstas, Ghoemas and the Silwerskerm Film Festival. She has also been honoured with numerous awards for her contribution to the arts and entertainment landscape in South Africa. Karen also founded the first ever Afrikaans Arts festival, the KKNK, and was later appointed as the CEO of the festival. She is also one of the founding memebers of Cutt Glas, an internationally renowned Afrikaans a cappella band. We sat down to chat with her during this year’s Silwerskerm Film Festival. Continue reading
Sisters Lamees and Widaad Albertus have become a force to be reckoned within the theatre industry. Currently working at The Fugard Theatre, Lamees holds the position of Theatre Manager and Associate Producer while Widaad not only holds the title of Wardrobe Supervisor and Production Assistant, but is currently also juggling the task of working as lead Costume Designer on several of the Fugard Theatre’s most anticipated upcoming shows including The Demon Bride and Significant Other. While most of their work tends to happen behind the scenes and away from the spotlight, Lamees recently had her work recognised by being featured in the Mail & Guardian’s 2017 Book of South African Women: On the Shoulders of Giants.
Ukhona Ntsali Mlandu is an Arts Manager, Curator and Facilitator. During the last few years she has worked alongside some of South Africa’s leading arts institutions and organisations including Artscape where she spent several years heading up their Resource Center, PANSA, FTH:K and Siyasanga Cape Town Theatre Company before going on to become an independent Arts Manager. She has launched her latest project makwande.republic, a residency program set in the heart of her hometown village in the Eastern Cape. We sat down with her to chat about moving back home, creating makwande.republic and having to coin a new phrase to encompasses her multi-faceted career.
Sara Matchett is a director, theatre-maker and lecturer. She holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance from the University of Cape Town where she currently resides as a senior lecturer in the Department of Drama. As co-founder and Artistic Director of The MotherTongue Project, a women’s arts collective, Sara has experience in the field of theatre in South Africa, Singapore, India, Kenya and Indonesia as a theatre-maker, performer, director and facilitator. Her latest directorial endeavor, Womb of Fire, which reunites her with her “soul collaborator” and fellow MotherTongue Project co-founder, Rehane Abrahams, is now playing at the Baxter Theatre. Continue reading
Samantha de Romijn is the co-founder of The Imbewu Trust, a non-profit organisation which was established to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts. She has also worked as a producer, agent, arts manager, performer, stage manager and director. Now in it’s seventh year, the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition, a flagship project of the Imbewu Trust, was recently awarded a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Innovation in Theatre. SCrIBE is an opportunity for South African playwrights to further develop their work. A staged reading is held for each of the finalist’s scripts, providing the chance for feedback from the industry and members of the public. An overall winner is announced at the end of the week, with one of the prizes being having the play professionally mounted for a run at a Cape Town theatre. Another writer has the chance to win The Scribblers Dream, a prize which enables a writer the opportunity to work alongside a mentor to develop their script and another writer has the chance to further workshop his or her play.
Melanie Burke is the chairman of the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards. Originally based in the corporate world, Melanie was appointed to her position six years ago. She serves on the board of many NGO’s but it’s the Fleur du Cap’s that have broken her “three-year volunteering rule.” A fierce and formidable presence in the theatre industry, we sat down with Melanie at the Baxter Theatre, the upcoming venue of the 53rd annual Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards, to discuss her journey as chairman of South Africa’s most coveted theatre award. For a list of the nominees, please click here.