Prue Leith has made a name for herself internationally as a chef, restaurateur, author and entrepreneur. She founded the Prue Leith Chefs Academy in Centurion, which has trained many of South Africa’s top chefs. Internationally, she is well known for her role as a judge on The Great British Bake Off. She has published 14 cookbooks, a memoir, Relish and eight novels. Prue Leith’s career has included her own restaurants, catering and cookery school businesses. Prue has had a deep involvement with education and the arts: she chaired the first of the companies charged with turning around failing state schools and was Chair of the School Food Trust, responsible for the improvement of school food and food education. She started and led the campaign for contemporary sculpture to be exhibited on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. She has been active in many charities and is the Chancellor of Queen Margaret University. She is an advisor for the Government’s Hospital Food Review. Among her awards she has a CBE, 12 honorary degrees or fellowships from UK universities, the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the year, and her restaurant, Leith’s, won a Michelin star. Prue’s latest cookbook The Vegetarian Kitchen, which she wrote with her niece Peta Leith, will be released in March 2020.
Fiona Ramsay is one of South Africa’s leading actresses, working locally and overseas. A doyenne of the South African performing arts industry, over the course of 40 years her award-winning professional career has successfully spanned across film, television and theatre. She is also a lecturer at Wits University and is the founder of Speakeasy Vocal Academy where she specialises as a dialogue and dialect coach and runs vocal empowerment workshops. She is currently starring as Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie at the Artscape Arena. Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
Marisa Steenkamp is the Deputy Stage Production Manager at the Baxter Theatre, a position she has held since 2012. With her work ever-changing and evolving, she has worked as a stage manager, assistant stage manager, technician and costume designer. Her work has seen her tour with productions to various countries across the globe including Sweden, Germany, Columbia, France and England. She created the costume design for The Fall and facilitated and styled costumes for various productions including #JustMen, Fisher’s of Hope and Blue/Orange. Most recently, she has worked on productions such as Remembering the Lux, Blue/Orange, Marat/Sade, The Fall, Aunty Merle: The Musical and Endgame. 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
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.