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National Arts Festival to host live stages in Makhanda

A scene from Mommy Mommy rcorded at the 2021 National Arts Festival in Makhanda. Picture: Mark Wessels

A scene from Mommy Mommy rcorded at the 2021 National Arts Festival in Makhanda. Picture: Mark Wessels

Published Feb 9, 2022


The National Arts Festival returns to Makhanda this year with a full live format after hosting the event online for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Arguably one of the biggest events in the art and theatre calendar, the National Arts Festival is set to take place at its home town of Makhanda in the Eastern Cape from June 23 till July 3.

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The festival organisers are inviting artists to register their works on the Fringe shows.

The Fringe is that part of the festival programme that is not curated by the festival’s artistic committee.

It is open to all artists from anywhere in the world who want to bring a show or piece of work to perform or exhibit at the festival.

The festival is also hosting an online programme so will welcome applications to present works made for the online environment.

‘As artists are slowly recovering from two devastating years of the pandemic, we would like to offer a 50% reduction of the normal R1 000 registration fee which this year will be R500.

“In addition, the venue fees have been reduced to accommodate artists’ tighter budgets. Online productions will pay a flat R150 registration fee,” says Fringe manager, Zikhona Monaheng.

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The festival will once again present a curated programme featuring highlights that include the original new works of the 2021 Standard Bank Young Artists, theatre, dance and music elements, comedy, visual art, illusion, artists in residence, workshops and experiences such as the Village Green and free Sundowner Concerts. Artists will also gain from several professional workshops and network opportunities at the festival.

The Fringe programme plays an important role in launching artists and their works into the spotlight.

It is here that countless South African artists have tested their range, experimented with form and debuted new work. A free space to express, play and create, it’s an essential element of the festival’s character.

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“Aside from the importance of coming together again to collaborate, network and talk late into the night, this year’s festival is an essential component in the reboot of the live arts ecosystem, and we hope it will offer some healing and hope after this very hard time we’ve all had. We are looking forward to being together in Makhanda,” adds Monaheng.

The closing date for application for the Fringe programme is March 18.

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