Category Archives: International Collaboration

For the Art: And the greater good

Megan van Wyk - Theatremaker

I love children.

And I love theatre.

And I strongly believe in the role theatre can play in the life of a young person coming to terms with the world. It can encourage play and imagination, fire up a sense of magic, build pathways for understanding human nature and countless other principles, as well as teaching important inter- and intrapersonal skills.
Most of the theatre projects aimed at young audiences I’ve been involved in have been fun and boisterous and very much in line with what people generally think of when children’s theatre is mentioned.

That said, the project I’ve fallen head-first into is very serious children’s theatre.
The play, a new work by Eliot Moleba in association with ASSITEJ ZA, is called The Orphan of Gaza and will premiere at the National School of the Arts Downstairs Theatre on the 16th of June.

Megan van Wyk & Nidaa Husain featured in Eliot Moleba play Orphan of Gaza The Orphan of Gaza

I’m deeply…

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The Orphan of Gaza

Extra, extra, read all about!

We premier a new play, The Orphan of Gaza, with the generous support of ASSITEJ SA and CurioCity Backpackers.

Details of the premier at The National School of the Arts. This play is specifically targeting 7-10 year olds.
Details of the premier at The National School of the Arts. This play is specifically targeting 7-10 year olds.

The Play:

After a rocket attack, a little girl is told that her parents have gone to a better place. Armed with a makeshift aircraft, helmet, GPS and a cockpit full of courage, she and her pet plot a journey to search for them.

Meet the creative team:

Cast                : Nidaa Husian and Megan Van Wyk

Writers            : Eliot Moleba

Dramaturge   : Charlotte Loriot

Director          : Eliot Moleba

Stage Manager: Nobantu Shabangu and Baeletsi Tsatsi

To book/RSVP your seat and your children, nephews, nieces, and cats, please contact me on:

Email: info(at)eliotmoleba(dot)com

Why we need the Next Generation!

Next Generation is a programme pioneered by ASSITEJ (The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) which brings young and emerging artists from different walks of life together to take part in an exchange of ideas, stories, practices, and most importantly, inspiration. These artists meet, eat, sleep, cry, laugh, joke, drink, play, live, and spend a week together; watching performances and engaging in formal and informal critical discussions about how they receive and make theatre. It is an inspiring week of total immersion into a new exciting world where they can interact with the ASSITEJ global community. The programme is also part of an international festival that showcases theatre productions from different corners of the world, and the participants receive an opportunity to experience the rich, diverse, high quality and cutting edge theatrical delights of TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences). If you ever thought TYA was a myth, unprofessional and low quality or not cutting edge, just a day of such a nuanced, stimulating and thrilling experience would gratify the soul and leave you hungry for more!

ASSITEJ is a great community of organisations, theatre companies, and above all, people who share a deep and profound passion for theatre for the young. It is a network that brings these stakeholders and the Next Generation together – to share their experiences and expertise. It is a platform that provides space for a critical dialogue about ideas that should shape the world of the young, and the future. That is why Next Generation plays a pivotal role in the ASSITEJ community. We cannot shape the future without opening a strategic negotiation between the young and the old, the audience and the artist, the parent and the child, the sponsor/funder and the promoter, etc. It is only by fostering these lines and bringing them into a dialogue can we build a community that is strong and connected with capacity to move together as a movement, consciousness and wave across cultures, seas, borders, politics, practices, experiments, and especially, thinking. We can only grow and go further when we move together as one community. Like the African proverb goes; if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. By enabling young and emerging artists to connect, ASSITEJ is unifying new voices to see, hear and inspire each other, so that they can find synergies and form new collaborations to grow the ASSITEJ family.

ASSITEJ has done well to connect our little pockets into a global community. Individually, we, as the Next Generation, are what ASSITEJ President, Yvette Hardie, calls “ripples”. Of course, ripples, alone, can’t move the sea, because they are mere droplets. As such, if we ripple alone in our own worlds we are hardly ever going to affect the tide, and despite all our efforts, the sea will remain calm. But we must not forget that for the sea to move it needs the initial ripple to set the wave off – and every great wave is made up of tiny little droplets – alone, these droplets can only ripple, but together they form a Mighty wave, a wave big enough to move the sea. And this is the critical role of ASSITEJ international; to connect all the tiny droplets and mould them into waves. This is why Next Generation needs to be, and continues to grow as, one of the programmes at the core of ASSITEJ and its congress meetings.

The 18th ASSITEJ Congress and Next Generation Warsaw (as part of the Korczak Festival), and all the previous programmes, have played a crucial and central role in bringing these ripples together. The ripples connect with each other and the ASSITEJ international community to form a wave; I have had the great privilege to attend the Next Generation programme in Poland and for a week, Warsaw was under siege, hit by wave-storms, the seismic kinds that moved and shook the city and provided a platform to bond the entire ASSITEJ-related TYA industry. Given its support by all ASSITEJ member states and its strategic position that coincides with an international TYA festival that brings local and international artists, productions, audiences, theatres, organisations and business, the Next Generation programme has become an interface that allows emerging artists to engage with all the stakeholders and ASSITEJ’s global artistic community and movement. This programme does more than just to connect the ripples, but it also builds water tight bridges across the sea. It is this bridge that connects ASSITEJ’s global community.

Meet the Next Generation Warsaw participants:

ASSITEJ Next Generation Warsaw 2014 from Thom Browning on Vimeo.

When you look at me you may only see a small, tiny droplet that you probably cannot see with a naked eye, and that’s ok. It’s enough for me, because I know that I’m part of something bigger, something stronger, something united – ASSITEJ and the Next Generation – my home. And at home you shall not miss me – even with your naked eye – because with my family besides me, I have the strength and size of a tsunami. I’m part of a giant wave that can tumble anything in its way, a wave that move mountains and seas, and beyond that, I’m part of a wave that can inspire a child, ignite his curiosity, tease her imagination, and broaden a child’s world to new possibilities. This is me. This is who I am. This is what I am. This is what I can do. This is the Next Generation. I am the Next Generation! Are you? Join us now! Click here: ASSITEJ.

Alongside the Next Generation programme, ASSITEJ promotes the NEXT GENERATION PLACEMENTS. The placements provide emerging theatre artists, producers and administrators with opportunities for international mobility within the field of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) and in order to encourage contact and exchange between experienced and emerging artists. This is an opportunity to further explore, share experiences, learn and work with artists in other countries within the framework of different projects such as festivals, seminars, workshops, forums, productions, etc.

Having had the privilege to experience the Next Generation programme (Warsaw) and Placement (Arad Goch, Wales), I found that the programmes work very well together to support emerging artists because it gives us a chance to explore and connect with ASSITEJ’s global community and the TYA world; broaden our network and experience something new. This is one of those moments when the droplets connect and pave way for magical things to happen. And it was this experience (especially the theme of Arad Goch’s festival, AGOR DRYSAU-OPENING DOORS) that has inspired me to ‘open’ my own door to give other emerging artists an opportunity to collaborate with South Africa and its local talents. As a result, I will be hosting a cross-cultural collaboration with Christopher Harris, a Welsh actor/writer/director. Together we are going to create a new piece of theatre for the young, possibly aimed at a teenage audience. Additionally, to connect this project to more ripples, we have also opened the collaboration to other international artists. Please see a brief description of the project below:

Eliot Moleba (South Africa) and Christopher Harris (Wales) met at Arad Goch and decided to co-create a production for young audiences together. ASSITEJ SA is supporting the development of this project and will oversee the creative process, since Eliot is also a member of ASSITEJ SA and a participant in our Inspiring a Generation programme. ASSITEJ SA is assisting Eliot and Chris (both writer/actor/directors) to develop this production with input from other professionals. The play will be a two-hander, featuring Chris and a South African actor, to be cast. We are looking for a dramaturg and a designer from the Next Generation programme to be part of this creation process in South Africa. The opportunity will include an 8 week process of creation and performances in Johannesburg, Cape Town and at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown 2015. The international company will be housed in Johannesburg for the duration of the creation period.

For more info, please visit:
SA/Welsh collaboration

SO WHY DO WE NEED THE NEXT GENERATION?
To cultivate an emerging generation of artists who are committed to advance the thinking, research and practice of theatre for young audiences. To give young people opportunities to meet, learn and inspire each other – across borders and cultures – to connect the ripples and promote national, continental and international collaborations in order to ensure that young artists share, build and grow together as a collective; fostering a global network and community. Above all, to support young artists who not only recognise and advocate theatre as one of the necessary activity for every child’s development, but is also actively involved in creating cutting edge work that provides access to theatre for the young. ASSITEJ is playing its part. Are you?

There has truly never been a more perfect timing to join the ASSITEJ family. To know more about how you can be a part of this exciting journey, visit ASSITEJ.

The Do School

Eliot Moleba:

He studied Theater Directing at University of the Witwatersrand and recently completed a tour of his play “Sizwe Banzi is Alive”.

Eliot’s venture is to work with Drama for Life, an organization promoting social transformation, to create a play in response to the Marikana tragedy where 45 striking miners were shot during a confrontation with the police. His goal is to use the play to raise awareness and start a large fundraising campaign for the benefit of the children of the deceased.

http://thedoschool.org/people/eliot-moleba/

Inspiring A Generation

Inspiring a Generation is an ongoing annual programme, which gives four-five emerging artists a year-long mentorship in theatre for young audiences. The programme is run by partners, ASSITEJ SA and Theatre Arts Admin Collective. The mentorship aims to inspire theatre practitioners to make high quality  theatre for young audiences in South Africa. The title of the programme refers to our hope of building a new generation of theatre makers working in the area of theatre for children and young people, and through their work building a generation of children and young people who love and are inspired by theatre performance.

Each mentorship includes networking, workshops, mentoring, international travel and exchange, and the production of a playscript or play through mechanisms appropriate to the particular piece being developed.

2013

2013 Participants, who will do their exchange in Paris, France with the festival Ere de Jeu are:

  • Tristan Jacobs
  • Elliot Moleba
  • Lereko Mfono
  • Clara Vaughn

About the 2013 programme – “Correspondance”:

Professional artists will work with learners at the National School of the Arts to develop four plays aimed at a teen audience. Theatre for teens has tended to fall into certain categories in South Africa: overtly educational, very issues-based, or related to school setworks. We are looking for fresh, breaking boundaries productions which speak to today’s teenager in a voice they can identify with, and which challenge and inspire them to engage with theatre. These writers will engage with four writers at the French festival Ere de Jeu in Paris in November 2013, as part of the French-South Africa Season, funded by NAC and French Institute. They will also give workshops for French teenagers, and witness French teens encountering the South African production by Magnet theatre, “Every Year Every Day I am Walking”.

Focus: Teen audiences

Partners: ASSITEJ SA, Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Well Worn Theatre, National School of the Arts, Magnet Theatre, Ere de Jeu festival

Sponsored by National Arts Council and French Institute as part of SA-French Seasons of Performance.

Eliot Moleba is a story

 

From left to right: Nena, Antonio, Sondos and Eliot (me)
From left to right: Nena, Antonio, Sondos and Eliot (me). What a lovely group of people I have met in the past few days since my arrival at the D&F Academy.

Who am I?

Eliot Moleba is a story. His story is of a playwright, theatre-maker and director based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is very passionate about storytelling and believes that we, as human beings, are made up of no more than a collection of stories. As such, these stories continuously shape and influence who he was, is and will be. Given this immense power of storytelling with the potential to change or transform us, Moleba uses it as a device to identify, highlight and advocate for social transformation and change issues in South Africa. He believes that it is through our stories that we remind ourselves and each other what it means to experience, share and embrace our common humanity.

Why am I here?

In partnership with Drama For Life and Education Africa, Eliot Moleba has founded The Marikana Scholarship Fund to aid the displaced and stranded children of the miners who were tragically killed in the confrontation with police at the Marikana mine in South Africa. The labour unrest across the country, especially the Marikana tragedy, has left many families without breadwinners. This initiative is founded on the belief that unless something is done to help secure the future of the affected children, the perpetual cycle of illiteracy and unemployment will continue to rise and remain an epidemic for the next generation, and that education is the key to breaking the cycle.
The Fund will be collecting donations both locally and internationally to support the education of the children of those who died in the Marikana tragedy, with the hope of raising enough funds to cater for primary, secondary and tertiary education. The project will also partner with local and international universities and schools.

Eliot Moleba has also created a theatre production, The Man In The Green Jacket, which is, in part, a response to the Marikana massacre. The theatre production openly dramatizes the question of how such a tragic event will affect the immediate (and extended) family members of the late miners. It will tour locally and internationally to raise both awareness about the tragedy and funds for the communities directly affected by the aftermath.

International Writing Competition

Call For Writers Deadline April 30, 2013 – International Writing Competition

Three prizes of $50, publication in ArtAscent Magazine including your name a link to your website, as well as exposure in ArtAscent website and social media.

The competition theme is Emergence. Emergence can mean the gradual beginning or coming forth; the event consisting of the start of something; a growth in strength or number or importance; the becoming visible. How you interpret it – literally or symbolically – is up to you.

This call for entries may include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories and other written explorations (up to 500 words). Your submission may be previously published, but must be your original creation. Non-winning entries will not be published. You retain rights to your work.

Submission Deadline: April 30, 2013
Entry $7

See http://www.artascent.com for submission details and to enter.