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.
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.
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 Gabler, The Something Prince, Yerma, Red 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 Theatre. 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
Chuma Sopotela is a multi-award-winning actor, director, choreographer and performance artist. She has recently been named as the 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art. Her stage credits include Karoo Moose for which she received the 2007 Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best Actress, Waiting for the Barbarians, U nyamo alunampumlo and Mamela Nyamza’s Rock to the Core. We sat down with her to discuss her career, being named the Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art and her upcoming production for the National Arts Festival, Indlulamthi.
Quanita Adams is an award-winning stage and screeen actress, vocalist and director. A four-time Fleur du Cap Theatre Award winner, she has taken on notable theatre roles including Valley Song, Boesman and Lena, Nadia Davids’ Cissie and At Her Feet, also penned by Nadia Davids, which was met with critical acclaim and has gone on to tour extensively over the last 15 years. We sat down to chat about her career and her latest film, Susters, which is now playing in select cinemas. Continue reading
Genna Gardini is a writer and teacher. She is the author of Matric Rage, which was published in 2014 by uHlanga Press. In 2012, she was awarded the DALRO New Coin Poetry prize and was chosen as one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans for 2013. She is also the co-founder of Horses’ Heads Productions and has had several of her plays produced at the National Arts Festival including WinterSweet and Scrape, both of which went on to win Standard Bank Ovation Awards. In addition, she also works as the poetry editor of Prufrock Magazine, a journal in which her own work has featured.
Julia Anastasopoulos is an artist, illustrator, designer and actress. In 2014, she launched her “bite-sized do-it-yourself” web series, Suzelle DIY, which instantly took South Africa by storm. During the course of her career, Julia’s work has spanned several artistic mediums including a successful career as a stage actress, theatrical set and costume designer and illustrator. Her work has been exhibited locally and abroad and has included a series of large illustrated print murals for the City of Cape Town Micity Bus stations. She is a twice-published author and is also the creative director of Sketchbook Studios, which she co-founded with her husband Ari Kruger. But it’s Julia’s latest project, Tali’s Wedding Diary, that has everyone buzzing. We sat down with her at Sketchbook Studios to chat all about creating these iconic characters.
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