The Playhouse Company’s fifth annual Community Arts Festival is on the go, with the second leg of the festival returning this weekend.
Conceived five years ago as an initiative of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the aim of the festival is to mentor and offer a platform for community arts groups.
They get to work with professionals while honing their creative and administrative skills to develop their own productions.
“The underlying rationale behind CAF is to empower community arts practitioners from around the province of KwaZulu-Natal to make the jump to the professional performance level, through an intensive process of hands-on training.
“This takes place under the aegis of seasoned professional mentors, appointed by the Playhouse, who coach the groups, before their productions are performed in the professional environment of the Playhouse complex,” said Playhouse arts manager, Thandekile Mqadi.
The festival, which run over two weekends, offers a variety of drama, music and dance productions.
In addition to the performances are workshops on script writing, directing and arts administration by Dr Mbongeni Ngema, Jerry Pooe and Nwabisa Plaatjie.
The festival will continue this Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28, at the Loft Theatre from 10am.
Both days will be packed with five community art productions, making for a full day at the theatre.
The line-up comprises “A River of Petition”, “Dudula Nonsense”, “Rooted Twins”, “Ubizo the Calling” and “The Divine Song”.
Speaking more about the “The Divine Song”, which was written and directed by Rukmini Devi Dasi and Girisha Naicker, the Bhakti Theatre team said it is an adaptation of “The Gita” by His Holiness Bhaktimarga Swami.
The story of Thembi, a teenager who is dealing with rejection, insecurity and grief, takes the audience on a journey.
“After being gifted the Bhagavad-Gita – The Divine Song, she relates to Arjuna the protagonist, who is perplexed by the impending death of his family.
“Arjuna approaches Krishna, the Supreme Wise Mystic, and through their conversation, Thembi questions the spirit, explores the nature of the mind, and finds solace for her grieving heart.”
The drama is laden with music, dance and martial arts.
Be part of the excitement as the dynamic artists set the stage on fire. Admission is free.
Other events not to be missed include:
“Swing into Spring”
Durban’s fabulous swing band, Platform Jazz, together with Friends of Music, will host an afternoon concert at the Durban Jewish Centre.
The event promises an afternoon of soul-soothing entertainment.
Audiences can expect to see Cathy Peacock on trumpet, Kirsten Sayers on clarinet, Jeff Robinson on sax and flute, David Solomon on trombone, Andreas Kappen on double bass, Bruce Baker on drums, and the ever-popular Melvin Peters on piano.
Joining them for the concert is Shelley McLean-Downham and special guests Grant Bell, John Didlick and Marion Loudon from the vocal group The Gee Jays.
“Swing into Spring” will feature a mix of great numbers, among them “In the Mood”, “Blue Moon”, “Summertime”, “Something Stupid”, “C'est si bon”, “Wonderful World”, “Fly me to the Moon” and “L.O.V.E.”.
Where: Durban Jewish Centre.
When: Sunday, October 29, at 2.30pm. Doors open at 1.30pm.
Cost: R120 for members and R150 for non-members. Tickets are limited, call or WhatsApp Cathy at 082 349 8362. A cash bar will be available.
“Qiqa Mzala Reggae Tour”
The “Qiqa Mzala Reggae Tour” features reggae artists from throughout Africa who are coming together in song to stand against all forms of war and violence.
Leigh Van Den Berg, from KZN Gigs, Arts and Culture, said the tour also aimed to revive the reggae status in South Africa.
The tour comprises South African artists Rastas at Work, Sizwe Zakwe, Bobo Youth, Italistic, Sankie Faya Uman, Roots of Kush, Teekay, Armstrong Cele and Melanin Goddess.
International artists in Maveriq Mayo (Azania), Becky Muthoni (Kenya), C Wyne Nalukalala (Uganda) and Queen Zipporah (Tanzania).
Van Den Berg added: “For all the reggae lovers, come join us for a weekend of rasta vibes for all to enjoy at Gibaland. The ticket options can even include glamping and camping.
Where: Cool Runnings, 49 Milne Street on Friday, October 27, at 7pm; Gibaland, 1 Ingweni Road on Saturday, October 28, at 4pm and Sunday, October 29, at noon.
Cost: R100 excluding glamping and camping sites.
“I Love A Piano 2023”
Come along and enjoy a musical journey of classical and light piano music performed by Heather Dix and Tania Borman.
Guests are encouraged to bring their own picnic basket and drinks.
Where: Westville Theatre Club.
When: October 29 at 2pm.
Cost: R50 for members and R60 for the general public. To reserve a seat, contact Dorothy at 083 776 1754 or email [email protected].