Cape Town - Are men doing enough to tackle the scourge of violence against women and children? The Baxter Theatre Centre’s latest flagship production #JustMen, which calls for men to unite and take a stand, will have its world premiere at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, for two weeks only, from 13 to 30 June, at 7.30pm nightly.
With the worldwide outbreak of the #MeToo disclosures, which has seen countless women breaking the silence on sexual harassment and assault, it has been a long time coming for men to take collective ownership of what is, at its core, a man's issue. Moreover, the frequent cases of abuse, rape and murder perpetrated against children and women in South Africa and other countries, have reached explosive and unacceptable proportions.
#JustMen is an attempt to heed the critical need for action and change this frightening reality as it tackles the problem head-on. This brand new production, made possible through funding from the City of Cape Town, is a clarion call to address the issue.
Directed by Heinrich Reisenhofer (Joe Barber, Suip!), the dynamic cast is made up of Loukmaan Adams (Aunty Merle, The Musical, Kat and the Kings), Thando Doni (Ityala Lamwele, Ubuze Bam), Sherman Pharo (Suidooster, Vinkel en Koljander) and Johan Baird (Sewende Laan, Generations). Together, they have devised the play through a rigorous workshop process spanning four weeks of research and rehearsals.
#JustMen is an honest and empowering multilingual, docudrama for men, about men, performed by South African men who tell their own stories and take a stand against the epidemic of gender violence in the country.
“It has become evident that the magnitude of this problem can no longer be ignored. We have brought about this production to instigate change. We would like to invite all men, and especially leaders, captains of industries, managers and staff in business, government, organisations, academia, sport and all sectors, to come and see and support this vital work," said Baxter CEO and artistic director, Lara Foot.
"The need to start open discussions, take ownership and outlaw this horrific scourge has become urgent. Become part of the movement to help transform our society into a safer and healthier environment.”
Director Reisenhofer explains, “This is a very personal project for me about bringing healing and transformation into the theatre space and engaging a brave and vulnerable conversation about men taking responsibility, not just for the men we want to be, but the kind of world we want to be part of. It is inspired by the remarkable work of programmes such as the Mankind Project and Imbadu Men’s Project that asks the question: what do we as men need to address, amongst men, to transform these issues?”
He continues: “This is a conversation we can no longer avoid and a piece that every South African man needs to see. How do we as men show up, make our voices heard and fight this problem? We, therefore, call on men to engage critically and to have honest conversations about what we mostly avoid talking about. It has become clear that we need to transform our responsibility, accountability and behaviour around the culture of male abuse of women and children.”
For the past seven years Reisenhofer’s personal journey has taken him into the arena of healing and personal transformation work where he has been training and working as a coach and facilitator.
In his coaching he specialises in shame and shadow work guiding participants to forgive, break the old patterns of behaviour and take charge of their biographical storytelling - it’s all about learning to heal one’s particular narrative. This came out of his own healing process where he needed to deal with his relationships and his own shame as a man that he carried from childhood.
The show has an age restriction of 16.
#JustMen runs at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from 13 to 30 June at 7.30pm nightly and tickets cost R120. Booking is through Webtickets or selected Pick n Pay stores. For discounted group or block bookings contact Leon van Zyl on 021 680 3972 or email him at [email protected].