Mfundo Tshazibani, has won an acting award for his outstanding blending of "African storytelling and classical tradition" at the 16th Setkani/Encounter International Schools' Festival in Brno, Czech Republic.
He played the lead character Wellington in the UCT Drama Department's production of Levetan's play, Mrs Kaplan and the Witchdoctor, which was on tour in the Czech Republic and Romania in April.
The theme of the festival was "the metamorphosis of the present theatre language" and Tshazibani's award is a strong indication of the status of the UCT production at this festival.
This acknowledgement also confirms that elements of South African theatre and storytelling are at the cutting edge of contemporary theatre.
Tshazibani agrees: "To me, the award shows that the world is ready to listen to what South Africans are saying and appreciate what we are doing, especially in storytelling and tradition."
The Setkani/Encounter Festival hosted 14 theatre schools from Eastern Europe. There were approximately 140 actors participating and Tshazibani received one of three male acting awards.
This is the third time that the department has participated at this prestigious festival. From Brno the cast went on to perform in Buzau, Targu-Mures and Bucharest, Romania, at the invitation of the UNESCO Chair of the International Theatre Institute The encounter success in Brno was confirmed when the South Africans received the unofficial award for the most popular, most social and most communicative group at the festival.
Says Tshazibani: "The response that we got from the audiences made me realise that we as South Africans need to be proud of who we are and what we have. It's a pity that we have to go overseas to realise this."
Mrs Kaplan and the Witchdoctor will be performed on Hiddingh Campus. Please watch the press for details.
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