Waterfront Theatre School students are headed to Russia this month for the third BRICS Countries Drama Schools Festival. Photo: Supplied
Cape Town – The Waterfront Theatre School (WTS) in Cape Town is headed to Russia this month to take part in the third BRICS Countries Drama Schools Festival.

A group of students from the performing arts school has again been invited by the University of Theatre Arts in Moscow, with the support of the Presidential Grant Fund, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Moscow Culture Department, to take part in the festival that runs from May 27 to June 6.

The festival seeks to examine how Performing Arts Colleges in BRICS countries explore typically Eurocentric styles of theatre while maintaining cultural relevance and resonance.

This year the festival topic is Greek Theatre and the chosen text is Oedipus Rex. All participants are required to prepare extracts from the text for performance.

The Waterfront Theatre School is focusing on the choral scenes in Oedipus Rex.

The conceptual idea for their performance is to relate traditional African practices of worship, prophecy, protest, celebration and mourning to the ancient classical text.

The focus is on Xhosa traditions and this year the WTS ensemble cast will comprise eight students.

This is the third time that the Waterfront Theatre School is attending the festival.

The main event will take place in the impressive 1 500-seater amphitheatre in Zaryadye Park, a contemporary space in central Moscow close to Red Square.

Festival audiences are able to watch rehearsals and performances and this year it’s anticipated that more than 100 000 people will attend.

“The festival provides an amazing opportunity for us to share our culture and to be part of the global community,” said WTS founder and managing director Delia Sainsbury.

“The relationships fostered between the various institutions taking part is hugely beneficial to broadening the international network and truly transforms the experiences of the students,” she added.

Other institutions taking part this year include the University of Beijing, the University of Delhi and the Casa de Artes Das Laranjeiras in Brazil.

This year the festival will be joined by delegates from Armenia and Georgia.

The project has also received support from the Western Cape Department of Arts and Culture, Proud Partners, the South African National Dance Trust and the MLahann Trust.

Cape Times