Zabalaza Theatre Festival returns

22 March 2022 | Story Supplied. Photo Lesley Mphanga and Imameleng Masitha. Read time 3 min.
Joshwin Dayson, Jason Olivier, William Adams and Marunzo Thomas in “Hostel Lights”.
Joshwin Dayson, Jason Olivier, William Adams and Marunzo Thomas in “Hostel Lights”.

From 2 to 8 April 2022, the Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival – now in its 12th year – takes over The Baxter with 32 new productions from across the Western Cape, showcasing the best in dynamic and original developmental theatre.

The award-winning festival, for the first time this year, is the product of hybrid mentorship programmes that included script writing mentorship for writers, as well as mentorship workshops for directors to produce the best in cutting-edge developmental theatre.

Line-up of events

The Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival kicks off with the hugely popular Family Day on Saturday, 2 April, curated by the Fun Squad that includes a variety of food stalls and a jumping castle for children to enjoy. Performances for children will run from 09:45 to 12:00. A showcase of the Best of DCAS – annual invitees to the festival – also takes place on the day with participants from the Overberg, Cape Winelands, West Coast and the Garden Route districts.

For adult audiences, the Saturday evening offers a selection of performance experiences. An energetic and fresh poetry performance takes place in the Baxter Garden at 17:00 and theatre-lovers can experience Shadows of the past at the same time in the Golden Arrow Studio. RAW (Real Art Wednesdays) returns to the line-up with a vibrant platform for a variety of talented performers, in the Concert Hall at 19:30.

The 32 productions on the main festival, from 4 to 8 April 2022, with performances at 09:45, 11:00, 12:00 and 19:00 daily, were selected from the mini festivals, which were held over two weekends at the end of January 2022 at the Delft Rent Office, Kraai4theatre in Kraaifontein and the Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha.

The gala awards ceremony takes place on 9 April, where various productions and artists will be chosen in different categories, and the Best of Zabalaza winner (which benefits from a two-week run at The Baxter in August 2022) will be announced.

The festival is curated by Mdu Kweyama (artistic director and curator), along with Zabalaza team members, Bulelani Mabutyana (coordinator), Tshegofatso Mabutla (festival administrator) and Nonsikelelo Maboza (audience development). 

This year’s programme, once again, boasts a wide range of content and themes that include negligence in the medical industry, conversations around the influence of media on the sense of self and value, the questioning of religion and dogma and how abuse and domestic trauma affect the performance of learners at places of education.

Tickets are R30 per show and available through Webtickets on 086 111 0005, online or at Pick n Pay stores.

Performances will be regulated by lockdown regulations at the time, with all COVID-19 protocols in place and to be observed.

Schools and organisations with group bookings have the option of affordable transportation offered by the Golden Arrow Bus service, who supports the festival yearly, at R5 per person, for groups of more than 40, with a strict maximum of 60 people per bus. For school or group bookings, fundraisers or charities contact Carmen Kearns (021 680 3993 or via email) or Nontsikelelo Maboza (021 680 3984 or via email).

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