The festival will host 56 different productions and 300 artists from across the country.
One of the artists is Tyrone Zoutman, the director of the Afrikaans and English language production Katrientjie en die Broers, presented by Lekker Jy Productions from Parow. It is a thriller of murder, intrigue and mystery. There will be one performance tomorrow at 10am.
Zoutman will also be staging a second production with his Zoutman Dance Company, Ungubani Wena?, a dance production which he wrote, directed and choreographed.
The performers are accompanied by the Khoi Konnexion band featuring music artists Glenville Arendse (percussion), Jethro Louw (percussion), Didi Didlof (double bass and violin) and Chad Andrews on guitar. There is one performance tomorrow at 11.30am.
Zoutman spoke about his career and thoughts on the arts.
Coming from a smaller community, how does it feel being part of the Zabalaza Theatre Festival?
This a perfect opportunity for young artists, theatre-makers, writers and directors to perform their work which would not have been exposed to or have been seen by mainstream audiences - only in the communities that they come from.
Zabalaza is also a platform for creating jobs and helping dreams come true. We are really grateful to the Zabalaza Theatre Festival for creating and affording us this opportunity, which does not exist anywhere else.
What made you decide to go into theatre?
I have always had a passion for the arts and for telling stories through theatre. I thank God for the talent that I have been blessed with and which has become my passion.
What is the best part about being part of a theatre production?
For me, it’s about being able to tell stories - different and diverse ones - using different theatrical styles or genres to best communicate an artists’ vision. Theatre is life.
What do you like doing in your free time?
I enjoy working in and with communities, safe houses and sharing my creativity with those who are hungry for the arts but cannot afford it. I also do freelance work and offer workshops and masterclasses.
Are there future productions? you would like to take part in?
There are so many, but Lara Foot’s Karoo Moose has to top them.
What do you think of the current theatre landscape?
We need more theatres and theatre-makers in the rural communities. Although there are existing theatres, they are not necessarily easily accessible for rural communities. The government has to improve the funding of theatres and invest in artists more.
Who is your favourite international actor and why?
Johnny Depp. He is a diverse actor and can take on any role and give it his own trademark. He is equally brilliant on stage and in films.
Who is your favourite local actor, and why?
Tina Jaxa. She is one actress who brings any emotion to life.
Do you think there are enough opportunities for South African actors?
I don’t believe so. Far more opportunities should be created for work.