After almost a year of online studying and absence from the live stage, the graduates of the Waterfront Theatre School are keen to show off their skills. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
After almost a year of online studying and absence from the live stage, the graduates of the Waterfront Theatre School are keen to show off their skills. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Theatre school graduates take to stage after locked down year

By Sam Spiller Time of article published Feb 14, 2021

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Cape Town - It’s high kicks and jazz hands as the 2020 graduates of the Waterfront Theatre School put on a show to mark their departure from the college.

Prevented from appearing on a live stage for the majority of their fourth and final year, the students will present a new show titled Becoming to showcase their talents.

The show will take place at the Galloway Theatre and will run for three nights from Thursday to Saturday.

For writer and director Hannah Marshall, the idea for the show originated from the student’s inability to work together on a project, and a desire to return to live theatre.

“It’s really exciting to be doing and rehearsing something that will bring people a little bit of joy,” she said.

“We saw an opportunity, we saw the graduates who hardly got to perform last year because of the current circumstances, so we thought we needed something to do and would love to give them the opportunity to be seen by everyone and give their 2020 a little bit of a wrap-up.”

Hannah Marshall and Damian Jaftha (right) lead the 2020 graduates of the Waterfront Theatre School rehearsing for their upcoming show, Becoming. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Becoming is a cabaret-style show complete with multiple musical numbers, with a central theme surrounding metamorphosis and the students’ transition to career professionals.

“We’re in this little fantasy world of their cabaret show and four years worth of college,” Marshall said.

“It’s finally coming to an end. We called it Becoming because at the end of your four years and you’ve worked your a*** off, you really studied hard and put in the hours. You look at yourself in your first year and then you look at yourself in your fourth year, and you’re becoming, stepping into who you want to be as a human and performer.”

The show features 11 graduates of the 2020 teaching year, as well as four from the class of 2021.

One of those graduates is Amber Morgan, 22, from Hout Bay, who said the show was a chance for her to show off her skills.

“We all get to play heightened versions of ourselves. You get to see our raw personalities and what we are really good at. I have a tap duet with a friend and that’s where our passion lies and our skill-set really thrives. It’s nice that you get to see everyone in their element.”

The 2020 graduates of the Waterfront School are gearing up to host a cabaret night at the Galloway Theatre next weekend. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Becoming is but one of a few live shows taking place in the Mother City with the majority of major theatre venues still shut due to Covid-19.

“The majority of performers who are graduating are all teachers,” she said.

“We have the capability to teach dance and theatre, but to perform in it is such a wonderful experience.”

Another graduate, Westlake dancer Elvis Nonjeke, 21, said his focus during the lockdown was to complete his studies at the school.

“This year, we won’t have these classes, teachers telling and pushing us through. We have to be self-motivated and that was my focus.”

Tickets are R140, and R120 for students. To book see www.tixsa.co.za

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