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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Elsabé Daneel is an actress, director, producer, lecturer and TV presenter. With a career spanning across stage and screen, her select stage credits include Feeskatte, Ou Blare and Deon Opperman’s one-woman show, Bittersoet, which she toured extensively to all the major arts festivals in South Africa over the course of several years. Her TV career includes 18 SABC dramas. In 2001 she started Elsabé Daneel Productions which sees her taking on the role of producer, director and presenter of corporate videos and documentaries for private clients, kykNET and M-Net. She is currently starring as matriarch ‘Sandra Viljoen’ in Ferdinand van Zyl’s complex war drama, The Recce, which arrives in theatres on September 28th. We sat down with her to chat about her multifaceted career and why her role in The Recce is the “deepest” she’s ever gone. Continue reading
Kate Pinchuck is an actor, writer and stand-up comedian. Her credits include Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! at Artscape, the critically acclaimed all-female Taming of the Shrew at Maynardville directed by Tara Notcutt and the Ovation Award winning Gaslight at the National Arts Festival Fringe directed by Laine Butler. Kate has been rising up in the comedy scene in Cape Town and Joburg. She was featured in the 2017 Next Generation Showcase at Grand West, was a semi-finalist in the 2017 Savanna Show Us Your Apples competition and performed in the televised 2018 Comics Choice Awards Newcomer Showcase at the Soweto Theatre. She has performed numerous times at the National Arts Festival Fringe in productions such as With/Hold, Jack & Jill which she wrote and Lexi Meier’s Standard Bank Ovation Award-winning immersive installation, Down to a sunless sea. Following its award-winning run at the National Arts Festival, her one-woman show, Medusa Incarnate will make its Cape Town debut at the Alexander Bar in September. Continue reading
Puleng Lange-Stewart is a writer, playwright, filmmaker, director, designer and illustrator. In 2016, she was one of three shortlisted writers in the national PEN student writing competition. Her writing has appeared in the 2017 African Literature curriculum at UCT. Her first independent short film, written and directed with Jannous Aukema, Until the Silence Comes, was selected for the 2017 Cape Town International Film Festival and was nominated for an audience award at the Shnit International Short Film Festival. Her primary focus is in interdisciplinary performance and multimedia integration. As a queer, feminist, artist and mother of colour, she hopes to find ways to explore and question the practices and hierarchies that continue to erode human dignity and self-determinacy for so many within the context of South Africa and Africa as a whole. Her work is deeply embedded in a decolonial framework which hopes to elevate and recentre African bodies and voices as a response to its violent historical negation. During the 2018 Open Book Festival, Puleng will appear on a panel entitled Moving Pictures and Borders. Continue reading