Gender equality, hate and rape are among the pertinent social issues to be interrogated via creative expressions at the sixth annual Women’s Arts Festival at Artscape Theatre in Cape Town from August 8 to 11.
This festival of theatre productions, exhibitions, workshops and tough talks will engage this year’s theme: ‘Humanity’. The Women’s Arts Festival annually also marks South Africa’s National Women’s Day on August 9.
One of the festival’s highlights will be a gender equality panel discussion that will attract prominent speakers and experts. This year’s topic is ‘Masculinity and Sexual Diversity in our Society’ and the debate will unfold at Artscape Theatre on August 9 from 10am. Participating voices will be gender advocacy groups including the Triangle Project, SWEAT, Free Gender and Gender Dynamix.
On stage, theatre highlights will be aplenty and all will aim to advance progress on women’s and social affairs.
Among the productions will be the Artscape commissioned piece ‘I Stand Corrected’, which will showcase the talents of award-winning South African choreographer Mamela Nyamza and British theatre producer Mojisola Adebayo. This physical theatre production is a response to homophobia, trans-phobia, corrective rape and murders of particularly black lesbians across South Africa. It will weave physical theatre, dance, music and drama to tell the story of a lesbian who rises after being murdered to seek out her perpetrator. There will be performances on August 8 at 7.30pm, August 9 at 8.15pm and August 10 and 11 at 6pm. (Tickets are R70.)
‘Dance for a Cure’ will gather top South African and international performers to raise funds for an initiative that ensures vaccination for children against a virus that causes cervical cancer, oral cancers and other sexually transmitted diseases. Performances will be on August 9 and 10 at 7.30pm. (Tickets are R120.)
‘Die Vagina Monoloë’ will offer a platform to women (and men) to voice their secret and suppressed fears. This production about femininity, penned by Eve Ensler, has been translated into many languages worldwide, but this is the first time that it is going to be performed in Afrikaans. Performers will include Antoinette Louw, Lulu Botha and Simone Alexia Biscombe. Performances are on August 9 at 6pm and August 10 at 8.15pm. (Tickets are R90.)
‘A Celebration of the Curve of Humanity’ is a jazz concert that promises to celebrate the essence of being human with a female edge. It gathers original music, unique arrangements of jazz standards and poetry, while paying homage to the human spirit. Musical Director Lee Gelderbloem and artists Amanda Tiffin, Mtika and Bulelwa Basse will join Artistic Director Melanie Scholtz on stage on August 11 at 8.15pm. (Tickets are R80.)
* For more information about this year’s festival and the productions that will feature, visit www.artscape.co.za. Book at Computicket or Dial-A-Seat on 021 421 7695.