STAGECRAFT: Grade 7 learners from Mandalay Primary School performed Robot at the Artscape Theatre on Thursday during the Artscape Schools Arts Festival. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The Artscape Schools Arts Festival kicked off in spectacular fashion on Monday evening, with young drama fanatics from across the Western Cape performing on one of Cape Town’s most prestigious stages.

Around 100 schools and 3 000 learners are taking part in the event from August 13 to 28 at the Artscape Theatre.

During the first four days of the festival, 40 schools have showcased their talent to a live audience. Artscape marketing manager Simone Heradien said the early performances were a major success.

“The theatre has been 70% full during the festival, which is fantastic. The students often describe (performing at Artscape) as a dream come true and often mention the Artscape Schools Arts Festival. It is an experience that lives with them forever.”

The festival prides itself on being open to schools from all backgrounds. Special-needs and township schools are among those competing, reflecting “the cultural centre” approach Heradien promotes throughout the Artscape Theatre.

One school who strutted their stuff on Thursday was Mandalay Primary School. Choreographed by teacher Slade Damon, a flock of enthusiastic Grade 7 learners donned robotic visages in a creative dance routine that highlighted the struggles of keeping up with the demands of society.

Grade 7 learners from Mandalay Primary School performed Robot at the Artscape Theatre on Thursday during the Artscape Schools Arts Festival. Video: Peter Thomas/Cape Argus

Immensely proud of his pupils, Damon said: “We have only been practising since the beginning of the term. The learners are really enjoying themselves and we’ve loved coming to Artscape.”

To provide an added incentive to the children, the 20 highest performing schools will receive a framed certificate and trophy.

The public can attend the festival. For more information on the event, visit http://www.artscape.co.za/

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Cape Argus