The Baxter Theatre Centre will be hosting the fourth annual Zabalaza Theatre Festival during the next week.
The action will kick off on Friday, March 7 and runs until March 14. The Festival will play across four different theatre spaces in a celebration of the power of theatre to connect, entertain and educate. What started out as a small ‘community theatre’ festival in 2011 has transformed itself over the years into the premier showcase of upcoming drama talent in the Western Cape. Over eight days, the festival will present 25 fringe productions, 12 Main Festival productions and regular ‘open-mic’ sessions, as well as two nights of Spoken Word and Hip-Hop in the Baxter Concert Hall.
The festival will commence with an opening ceremony celebrating 20 years of democracy, where artistic director Thami Mbongo will present an overview of the various productions on the festival programme in a special showcase.
The weekend of March 8 and 9 will be a landmark for the Baxter, as the entire weekend will be given over to the Zabalaza Fringe Festival with events taking place in the Concert Hall, Flipside Theatre, Golden Arrow Studio and Masambe Theatre, not to mention an open-mic session in the amphitheatre venue.
Theatre groups from Robertson, Bonnievale, Ashton, Riverdale and Worcester will perform their works alongside groups from as far away as Knysna, Port Elizabeth and Thembisa in Gauteng from 10am on Saturday, March 8 all the way through to 9pm on Sunday, March 9. In total, forty performances will take place on the Fringe during the weekend. Fringe performances begin at 10am on March 8 and will continue until 6.30pm that evening.
Following the Fringe weekend, the Main Festival will start its run on March 10 and will present five performances daily until March 14 in the Golden Arrow Studio.
This year’s festival will culminate in an Awards Ceremony presentation where awards will be presented across a number of categories, including Best Production, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and many more. Previous winners of the Festival such as Phillip Dikotla and Khayalethu Anthony have gone on to enjoy success on stages across the country. Anthony will be back on the Zabalaza stage as a writer/performer with the debut of his one-man show, ‘The Champion’. Anthony played opposite Dame Janet Suzman in the popular production of Lara Foot’s ‘Solomon & Marion’ at the Edinburgh Festival last year.
* Tickets are priced at R25 throughout.
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