Olivia Fischer is an award-winning playwright, director and producer. After graduating with her degree in theatre and performance, specialising in theatre-making from the University of Cape Town, Olivia premiered Still at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in Los Angeles, CA. Still was awarded five Hollywood Fringe awards including Tvolution’s Best International Show and the Conversation Creation award. In 2018, Olivia opened a production company called LIV Studios, a company that aims to develop female-identifying playwrights and theatre-makers. Olivia is a published writer: her autobiographical monologue Coming For You was recently published in the Market Laboratory’s anthology Between the Pillar and the Post: an anthology of South African monologues and scenes. Her other theatre credits include writing and directing an adaptation of Sindiwe Magona’s The Cruel King Lives! called Thandiwe: The Loved One and directed Duncan MacMillan’s Lungs. Her main focus as she continues to grow as a theatre-maker is telling stories of womxn: their resilience, their strength but above all, their undeniable capacity to love.
Lukhanyiso Skosana is an actress, performance artist, vocalist and theatre-maker. Her performing credits include Love Like Blue directed by Puleng Lange-Stewart, Khanyisile Mbongwa’s performance art piece kuDanger, Ndawo directed and written by Thapelo Tharaga and Nguvu Ya Mbegu directed by Mandla Mbothwe. To continue her collaborations with womxn of colour, she was in the dance piece Bana Ba Mobu choreographed by Tshegofatso Mabutla. She is in the continuous process of touring and reworking Womb Of Fire, a production written and performed by Rehane Abrahams and directed by Dr Sara Matchett for which she was recently awarded a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best Original Music Score. She continued her longtime collaboration with The MotherTongue Project by performing in their performance piece Walk in India at the ITFOK festival, at the National Arts Festival in 2018 and at Woordfees 2019. She recently choreographed her debut dance piece entitled Zinyile i’Queers and also participated in Body Politics in a durational Butoh piece titled UMGOWO. In 2018, Lukhanyiso made her directorial as well as playwriting debut with her graduation piece Inguquko.
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.
A historic production of Shakespeare’s popular comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, will be presented at the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre, directed by Tara Notcutt and featuring an all-female cast and creative team. Award-winning director Notcutt is making history with something never before seen on a South African stage: an all-female version of a Shakespeare play. She leads some of South Africa’s most celebrated actresses in a version of The Taming of the Shrew like it has never been seen before: a meeting of classic text with modern twists, including lip-synching, 90s fashion, and an all-female cast playing men and playing women, supported by an all-female creative team. This production also makes history as Notcutt becomes the 5th women in 61 years to direct a Shakespearian production at Maynardville. We were invited to attend the cast’s first day of rehearsals and get a sneak peak at this groundbreaking production.
Theatre-maker and performer Dara Beth describes herself as “first and foremost an angry, Jewish feminist”. She is one half of the cabaret duo Plumsong, which she has been performing as since 2011 with her mom and fellow performer, Sharyn Seidel. A recent UCT graduate, Dara has written and performed in Just a Song and a Dance with co-performer Sharyn at the Alexander Bar and the National Arts Festival. Dara has also worked as a stage manager on Wessel Pretorius’ Klara Maas se Hart is Gebreek and Die Ontelbare 48, Ameera Conrad’s Reparation and Jon Keevy’s The Underground Library. Dara also makes up one third of The Furies, a womxn-centric artistic co-op, who are responsible for presenting her latest original piece, Nasty Womxn, which makes its return to the Alexander Bar for a limited engagement following its triumphant success at the end of last year. Continue reading
Mamela Nyamza is an internationally renowned choreographer, dance artist, activist and Standard Bank Young Artist winner. After a successful run in The Netherlands, her carefully curated double bill, Rock to the Core and De-Apart-Hate arrives at the Baxter Theatre for a limited engagement before jetting off to be performed in Germany.