Artscape puts the focus on history with Heritage Festival 2015
The Artscape Theatre Centre will come alive with stories in September, in celebration of Heritage month.
“We are stories that we tell ourselves.” So says Nigerian poet Ben Okri. While Heritage Month means different things to different people, Artscape will be celebrating heritage by telling stories and considering how narratives are reflected orally, written and in creative forms.
Through various disciplines, Artscape will set forth to question identity, with a focus on “who we are, what we are and what we have been”, encouraging young and old alike to reclaim and restore the important stories of our heritage, to challenge misappropriations and find healing.
Some of the highlights of the festival (which started in late August) included a new piece by Indoni Academy Dancers, Inkundla (August 27 to 30), which looked at the “theatre of life”; as well as the currently showing ‘Siembamba’ (Thursday to Saturday, September 3 to 12), a multilingual play that explores the life of a black domestic worker and the white child she helped raise.
Choirs from around the province will take to the stage alongside the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday, September 13, for the Western Cape Choral Music Association’s (WeCCMA) 2015 Choral Music Eisteddfod.
Fans of more contemporary sounds will be thrilled to hear that Freshlyground’s Zolani Mahola, rock queen, Karen Zoid and soprano Zanne Stapelberg will be bringing their hit show, ‘Zoid. Zanne. Zolani’ to Artscape (Wednesday and Thursday, September 23 and 24), as part of the festival.
Back by popular demand, ‘Izityhilelo Zobuze’ by Lingua Franca will explore the concept of circumstantial inheritance through poetry and music from Thursday to Saturday, September 17 to 26, while ‘Words of War’ by Anele Rusi will tell stories of our heritage and history through inspiring poetry and songs of celebration, on Thursday and Saturday, September 24 and 26.
Much of South Africa’s heritage is tied up in the stories of our neighbouring countries, a point proven by ‘Born Around Here’, a production by Botswana’s Company@Maitisong. The piece tells the often unknown story of Botswana and other neighbouring countries’ contribution to the struggle for freedom in South Africa through the eyes of Botswana family.
Away from the stage, Artscape will host a dialogue titled ‘Connecting Creatives’ on Heritage Day while Artscape’s Tunnel (mural area between Artscape and Civic Centre Parking) will become the backdrop for ‘Ngokomzekeliso Wakhe (In His Image)’ – a performance art instillation by a multi award winner Chuma Sopotela, on Thursday and Saturday, September 24 and 26.
Bantu Biko said: “History works through people, and we have availed ourselves for history to work through us.” With their Heritage Festival, Artscape hopes to inspire theatre-goers to unearth their hidden stories and embrace their diverse identities.
* The Artscape Heritage Festival will be on stage until Sunday, September 27. Tickets are available from Computicket, or Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695.
Visit www.artscape.co.za for more information. Follow on their social media platforms, and use the hashtag #AHF15.