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City and Artscape help take stories from page to stage

Numerous creatives participated in the ‘New Voices’ programme, affording them the opportunity to participate in storytelling on stage at the Artscape this week, with the support of the City of Cape Town’s Arts and Culture Branch.

The New Voices Programme focuses on the developing and mentoring of scriptwriters to produce new work. It recognises that the most powerful people in the world are storytellers.

Participants worked their way to the project via training, development, peer-to-peer learning and co-creation that took place on the Cultural Mapping Planning and the Arts Aweh! Programmes developed  by the Arts and Culture Branch.

The aim was to produce stories through their own lived experiences and the lens of the times, areas, spaces and experiences that have shaped their own personal narratives.

‘The City is a proud supporter of the programme which not only gives a voice to new creatives, but also gives them an opportunity to introduce their work to new audiences. The benefits of the arts does not only reinforce our cultural identity, but also contributes to our well-being,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.


Participants at an event on Tuesday eveningwho told their stories are:

·       Cohen Erasmus – Manenberg

·       Abdullatief Davids – Mitchells Plain

·       Anthea Juries – Belhar

·       Chay Botman – Athlone

·       Keezin Mosime – Athlone

·       Zelda Ann Hintsa – Athlone


In addition, a dance group – the 021 Movement comprised of the performers of the larger group – rendered an item in dance called Odyssey.


‘The Power of Storytelling methodology is a structured process with a curriculum designed by DS Productions directors Dennis Stander and I that empowers individuals to craft compelling monologues around their personal stories. We encouraged participants to delve into their own experiences, emotions, and challenges, harnessing the power of authenticity to create a profound connection with their audience,’ said Devon Swartz, Director of DS Productions.


Artscape CEO, Marlene Le Roux, said the New Voices programme has grown from strength to strength.


‘This been one of our annual flagship programmes that literally gives a voice to young writers needing an opportunity to produce brand new works. It is in the form of staged readings with professional actors and directors to test out the new works as well as to possibly produce and develop these works into full-length productions. This year was particularly special as we are hosting eight staged readings, one full production, as well as a series of monologues by young Cape Flats writers, who, through the support of the City of Cape Town, brought the power of storytelling to the Artscape stage. These opportunities are often life-changing for young, aspiring theatre makers,’ said Ms Le Roux.  



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