A Conversation with Kanya Viljoen

Kanya Viljoen is a theatre-maker, performer and designer. Recently, Kanya wrote and directed RAAK, which debuted at the Vrystaat Kunstefees and was nominated as Best Production of the festival. Furthermore, it has been nominated for two Kyknet Fiësta Awards and is heading to US Woordfees 2019 for a limited run. Earlier this year, Kanya was awarded South African Theatre Magazine’s Best Emerging Director Award. In 2018, Kanya directed Like Hamlet, which was performed at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective as part of the Annex Theatre Bursary. Her script, mank, was selected for further development by Kunste Onbeperk’s Teksmark and she was awarded a writer’s bursary for this script. Currently, Kanya is an Andrew W Mellon scholar, completing her MA in theatre-making at the University of Cape Town.  

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A Conversation with Yvette Hardie

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.

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A Conversation with Tiisetso Mashifane wa Noni

Tiisetso Mashifane wa Noni is a South African playwright, theatre director and performer. With a Bachelor of the Arts in Political Science, Philosophy and Dramatic Arts from Rhodes University and a Bachelor of the Arts (Hons) in Directing for Stage, Writing for Film and Avant-garde Film from the University of Cape Town, she attempts to make provocative work that deals with themes of violence, sexuality, race and history within a contemporary South African setting. As a playwright and director, her debut play, Sainthood has received a Standard Bank Ovation Award and a Fleur du Cap nomination and is the subject of her TEDxYouth Cape Town Talk, ‘Another Conversation for the Dinner Table?’. Following a successful run at the National Arts Festival and at Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Sainthood makes its way to the Baxter Theatre for a limited engagement. 

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A Conversation with Lee-Ann van Rooi

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.

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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 Leila Henriques

Leila Henriques is an actor, writer, director and teacher. As an actress, she has starred in more than 30 productions. Some of her select stage credits include: Hedda GablerThe Something Prince, YermaRed Shoes and The List. She has taught acting at various academic institutions across South Africa including Wits, AFDA and The Market Theatre Lab. Together with Irene Stephanou, she wrote the book The World in an Orange –exploring the work of Barney Simon published by Jacana, which was shortlisted for the Alan Paton award. Following a successful run at Woordfees earlier this year, she is currently starring in Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class directed by Sylvaine Strike at the Baxter TheatreContinue reading

A Conversation with Elsabé Daneel

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

A Conversation with Karen Meiring

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

A Conversation with Puleng Lange-Stewart

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 AukemaUntil 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

A Conversation with Regina Malan

Regina Malan is a performer, producer and director. After previously performing in operas such as Le Nozze di Figaro and Dido and Aeneas, last year she starred in her first three plays, namely Macbeth, Design for Living and Jane Eyre, as well as her first two musicals, The Full Monty and Shadows in Red Light. Her other credits include Public City, Because it’s okay, Not Just Musicals and Othello: A Women’s Story which she also co-directed. In 2017 she co-founded Mish Mash Media Productions, a multi-media production company giving voice to LGBTQ projects in Cape Town. Following a successful run earlier this year, Othello will be performed at the Baxter Theatre for a limited run in September. We sat down to chat about her career and Mish Mash Media’s next show, 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche.   Continue reading