Get a child in need a pair of shoes for free
TOMORROW may be take a child to the theatre day, but you don’t have to limit your dramatic excursions to just one day in the year.
Assitej South Africa and the Theatre Arts Admin Collective present The Family Season of Performances, the perfect opportunity to engage with theatre work created with children in mind.
The season runs at Capricon Primary in Vrygrond and at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective building in Observatory from tomorrow to March 29.
Caroline Calburn of Theatre Arts Admin Collective is justifiably proud of its school programme, which subsidises tickets from a pot of money collected from local businesses, arts organisations and indviduals.
Schools and children’s organisations that are sending children to productions during the family season are subsidised if necessary with transport and financial aid for the tickets. Children pay what they can afford and the subsidy makes up the rest of the price.
“We’re firmly rooted in the belief that theatre is not for free. It’s a partnership between the children, communities, businesses, arts organisations and ourselves,” said Calburn.
In this way the artists play to fully paid-for houses and the children learn to see their own participation as a valuable part of the process.
For this, the fourth annual season, the collective is providing an opportunity for almost 1 000 underprivileged children to see a theatre show, some for the second or third time.
About 90 percent of the day’s shows are full, but there are still plenty of seats available for the evening shows at the Observatory theatre.
“Theatre has the potential to show children life outside of their circumstances. It helps them break out of the cycle of mental poverty because it’s about their imagi- nation,” said Calburn.
“I’m firmly of the belief that the fact that the children contribute helps with their self-esteem because they are contributing to something that is of value to themselves.
“Also that the people who donate to it (the subsidy programme) are giving children from under- privileged communities a chance to see over the rim of the bucket.
“It’s a partnership and is about making the arts sustainable as well as ensuring that children have a theatre experience that is enduring.
“We’re trying to instil in the children that theatre is important, enjoyable and we all contribute to it.”
lTickets are R20 for under-12s, R40 for 12s and over. Bookings: 021 447 3683 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
On this year’s schedule are:
• Kitchen Fables in a Cookie Jar (50 minutes): Created by Jori Snell of Baba Yaga Theatre, this abstract piece for children sees a girl transform kitchen tools and ingredients into imaginary friends and creatures of her own fantasy.
Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Methodist Church Hall, cnr Milton and Wesley streets, Observatory.
Tomorrow at noon; Thursday to March 26 at 10am.
• Fishy Flippers (50 minutes): Exploring the clown as storyteller, this interactive and playful show is about a boy who finds a lost penguin on his doorstep. Together they set off on an adventure in search of home, only to find it within each other.
March 26 to 28 at 5pm.
• Tika, (50 minutes): Performed in English and Zulu by Joburg performer Sizwe Vilakazi (and created while he was working with Action Transport Theatre in London), this show is about a boy growing up in a squatter camp and trying to survive when his parents part ways. It’s a story about family, survival and choices.
Tomorrow to Friday at 7pm at Theatre Arts Admin Collective.
Friday at 2pm at Capricorn Primary, Vrygrond Avenue.
• Mhla Salamana (When our Eyes Meet) (50 minutes): Directed by Thando Doni, this play tells a familiar love story but in a way you’ve not seen before. Using moving harmonies, poetic Xhosa text and gripping imagery, this is a story about love gained and lost.
Saturday, Monday, and March 26 at 7pm; March 26 and 28 at noon at Theatre Arts Admin Collective.
Saturday at 2pm at Capricorn Primary.
• Sister Earth: Jungle Earth presents a coming-of-age story about a rural teenager who moves to a city to start anew. Peer pressure and materialism see the youngster lose her connection to the earth as she loses herself in the city.
Thursday at 3.30pm at Capricorn Primary.
• Adi Paxton’s Pet Tales will be presented at Vrygrond creches only. Not open to the public.