Zoey Black is a transgender woman of colour living in Cape Town. She is trans rights activist, actress, freelance writer and digital content creator. She is employed with Gender Dynamix, a non-profit organisation with a focus on championing human rights for trans and gender diverse persons and communities in Southern Africa. Zoey is the organisation’s Legal and Education Advocacy Officer and leads the legal, policy and educational reform initiatives and projects. In her personal capacity, Zoey publicly advocates for trans rights and visibility, and broadens the scope of trans representation and narratives through her social media and online platforms, including her recently launched Youtube channel. Her channel acts as a resource in providing accessible information on trans specific issues, including accessing hormone replacement therapy, and changing one’s name and gender marker at the Department of Home Affairs. Working in tandem with her YouTube channel, Zoey runs a blog, which focuses on sharing her personal experiences and narrative as a transgender woman, including issues around discrimination and violence, mental health and wellness, and acceptance and tolerance. In addition, Zoey is studying toward a Bachelor of Laws, with intensions to enhance her capacity to further assist vulnerable persons and communities in accessing their rights, as well as contributing to the development of policy and legislation which will enhance, promote and protect the rights of marginalised members of society.
Fiona Gordon is the newly appointed General Manager of Cape Town City Ballet. As a respected, experienced arts manager, she has worked across a broad range of projects, festivals and cultural agencies, assisting businesses and organisations to “make things happen.” Since 2014, she has been the Managing Director of Creative Fix, developing strategies and providing support to clients in the cultural, creative and entrepreneurial sectors. Highlights of her career include working with organisations such as the National Arts Festival, the South African pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the South African Cultural Observatory, Hatch Ideas UK, The Arts and Culture Trust, UJ Arts & Culture, the National School of the Arts, Jade Bowers Design & Management and a number of industry-specific conferences.
Elana Brundyn is currently the CEO of Norval Foundation in Cape Town. She has been instrumental in launching two of Africa’s most prominent museums, namely Zeitz MOCAA and Norval Foundation. Brundyn has contributed to the cultural ecosystem in Africa as a museum director, consultant, advisor to corporates, family and school collections, charity art auctions and as a commercial gallerist. With a strong focus on philanthropic projects and fundraiser art projects and events.
Recently, Norval Foundation has teamed up with Cape Town City Ballet to collaborate on a short film entitled Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture, which celebrates the work of William Kentridge. The film is currently available to stream.
Tankiso Mamabolo is an award-winning actor, theatre-maker and singer. Since our conversation with Tankiso in 2017, she has gone on to be nominated for a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for her performance in Aunty Merle the musical and released her debut album Freedom Hurts Sometimes. Her one-woman show, Tankiso Live, The Audacity to Be, which enjoyed two successful runs at the Baxter Theatre in 2019, is the debut production to launch on the recently created South African Theatre on Demand, a new online platform which brings original filmed theatre productions to your screen.
Click here to read our conversation with Tankiso from 2017
Sue Diepeveen is an actor, theatre practitioner and the owner of The Drama Factory in Somerset West. Her new show, So You Want To Be A Trophy Wife? is available to stream as part of this year’s virtual National Arts Festival. As the owner of The Drama Factory, Sue is heavily involved in mentoring programmes for young actors and is committed to ensuring a safe and affordable space for new work to see the light of day. In the midst of the national lockdown, Sue has spent the last few months creating her show while also dealing with the unfortunate impact of the global pandemic on her theatre.
Penny Simpson is a costume designer and visual artist. After completing her theatre design studies at Sadlers Wells Design School, she returned to South Africa and began her career by joining CAPAB and designing for several of their productions. She has devoted more than 40 years to the theatre industry and has designed costumes for notable productions including; Hadrian VII, Miss Julie, Mother Courage and her Children, Present Laughter, Relatively Speaking, Show Boat, The Diary of Anne Frank, Exit the King and Fiddler on the Roof, to name a few. Her most recent theatrical credits include; Blood Brothers, Sunset Boulevard, Cabaret and Rocky Horror. During the last several years, Penny has focused her attention on portrait painting. Several of her paintings can be seen displayed in the foyer of Theatre on The Bay. Currently. Penny has returned to her theatrical roots by designing the costumes featured in Mel Brooks’ The Producers, which is currently running at Theatre on The Bay followed by a run at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino in Johannesburg.
Rushney Ferguson is a triple threat performer from Cape Town having completed her advanced I.S.T.D training in Modern, Tap, Ballet, Jazz and Musical Theatre, including Associate qualifications, at the Waterfront Theatre School. Her theatre career started with David Kramer’s District Six: Kanala, Amper Famous and Langarm for which she received a Fleur du Cap nomination. Rushney also Dance Captained and starred in the revival of King Kong: Legend of a Boxer at The Fugard Theatre. Choreographically, she works regularly behind the scenes with many local artists like Emo Adams: Brother Love 2, Emo Celebrates 30 Years in Music and the live finale of Maak My Famous. She recently appeared as Juanita in David Kramer’s new musical Danger in the Dark which returns to the Baxter Theatre in March 2020. She is currently starring as Abigail in Aunty Merle: It’s a Girl!, the highly anticipated sequel based on Marc Lottering’s beloved character, Aunty Merle. Continue reading
Didintle Khunou is an award-winning screen actor, theatre performer, voice actor and session vocalist. Best known for her portrayal of one of the most coveted roles in musical theatre, Celie, in the Grammy, Tony and Naledi Award-winning musical, The Color Purple directed by award-winning director Janice Honeyman at the Joburg Theatre. Didintle was honoured with the Naledi Award as well as the Broadway World Online Award for her performance as Celie. She played Yerma in an adaptation of Yerma, directed by Rajesh Gopie and was also seen in Joburg Theatre’s production of Bertolt Brecht’s epic play, The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Didintle has had numerous television appearances including Mamello, Single Galz and The Throne. She is currently starring as Janet in the South African tour of The Rocky Horror Show.
Claudine Ullman is an actress, improviser, stand-up comedian, public speaker, facilitator, and the founder and managing director of the Jittery Citizens. Having completed her Bachelor’s of Arts at Wits University, Claudine travelled widely, refining her craft at some of the top international performance schools. In 2012, she formed The Jittery Citizens Improvised Comedy Troupe, performing alongside South Africa’s top theatre/comedic talent. The Jittery Citizens are now considered to be Johannesburg’s premiere Improvisation troupe and have performed to packed houses in various venues across South Africa. Claudine is also an established theatre creator and performer, having toured with her one-woman show Curled Up in 2011, as well as having recently completed a successful run at the Grahamstown Arts Festival in Wretched. In 2019, she debuted her one-woman show Artificially Infeminated, which has since gone on to tour nationally and internationally. She also makes up one-third of The Thunderbirds comedy trio.
Nicola Hanekom has been a freelance actress, director and writer for the past twenty years. Her theatre work as writer/director includes a series of site-specific productions; Betésda, Lot, Babbel and Land van Skedels. As a writer and performer, Nicola created Trippie, and her self-penned one-woman show Hol/Running on Empty. These together with her latest play In glas have garnered twelve Kanna awards, eleven Fiësta awards, two ATKV writing awards and one Aartvark award. Nicola was also awarded the Eugène Marais Prize for her collection of plays Die pad byster. She has written and directed two short films, Trippie and Unspoken. Her short, Trippie won two Silwerskermfees awards. Cut-Out Girls is her first feature film and arrives in local cinemas on November 22nd.