Developing the local theatre scene

TWIST Theatre Development Projects launched its new programme recently with the induction of five community theatre groups into the project’s annual development programme of workshops, performances and festivals.

The five new groups include The Township Academy of Arts from Umlazi, Ithuba Labasha Theatre Group from Mariannhill, Unyezi Theatre Project from Pietermaritzburg, Zamukukhanya Theatre Productions from Izingolweni on the South Coast, and the 034 Drama Project from Vryheid.

The launch also saw the awarding of the annual Twist Game-Changer Award; an award given for those initiatives or individuals that nurture talent and allow the KZN arts industry to grow.

Game-changers come in many forms; as inspiring role models, teachers, mentors, programme managers and funders with an innovative mission.

He went on to say that some change the game by creating work that is both artistically new for audiences and inspiring for other theatre creators, and which changed the language of many theatre makers in the province.

The award for 2018 was presented to Musawenkosi “Goso” Shabalala.

Shabalala and his twin, Bongomusa, worked together in Umlazi and have together developed several outstanding productions over the past decade.

These include works such as To be Like this Rock, The Seed, Pieces of the Puzzle, Secrets from the Drawer, Brothers, Isipololo, Ezekiel, and Daffy Falls.

The pair have worked with directors from around the globe, and with local luminaries such as Jerry Pooe and Neil Coppen.

Both of the twins are recognised for their inspiring work, but the award was presented to Musawenkosi as an individual with Twist Director Roel Twijnstra noting: “We have just one award. But when you see it, you will notice two figures that are intertwined.

“Your life and artistic life as a theatre maker have always been interlinked with your twin. Since the beginning of the year, you have had to reinvent yourself without Siso.

“We want to acknowledge you — and your growth as an independent thinker and creator with your roots here in KZN,” said Twijnstra.

Twist Theatre Development Projects is funded for the 2018 period by the National Lotteries Commission.
— Supplied