The 2020 Zabalaza Theatre Festival winners have been announced. On 14 March, 2020, 11 awards in various categories were handed out to deserving recipients who participated in the festival at an award ceremony held at The Baxter.

First Accused by Star Senamile Zwane
First Accused by Star Senamile Zwane

The Best of Zabalaza production for 2020 went to First Accused, which will receive a season at the Baxter later this year, while Ek, Eva and Wat’s Oppie Menu? won two awards each.

Winners in other categories are Best Director (Samuel Jumat for Wat’s Oppie Menu?), Best Actress (Vuyisika Skeyi for Waiting), Best Actor (William Adams for Hart-Kopseer), Most Promising Production (Wat’s Oppie Menu?), Best Script (A Nightingale’s Resolve), Best Ensemble (Umzila), Most Innovative Production (Ek, Eva), Best Supporting Actress (Brutney Singrew for Ek, Eva) and Best Supporting Actor (Lihle Xwayi for Abahlolokazi).

Leigh McKinnon from Webtickets received the annual Token of Appreciation Award.

This year the festival celebrated its 10th anniversary and 38 productions from all over the Western Cape were showcased.

“It is never an easy decision to select winners at the festival as there is an overwhelming amount of talent around and we see that throughout the year. The winners are truly deserving, and I am delighted to congratulate them all. We are excited about the Best of Zabalaza Production winner First Accused from Strand. Their director has been a participant at the festival for the past seven years,” says Mdu Kweyama.

He continues, “We would like to thank the more than 300 artists and theatre-makers who were part of this year’s festival. A special thank you to our partners and sponsors. They are the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, City of Cape Town, Distell, HCI Foundation, Pick n Pay, Junkets Publishers, City Varsity and ACT Cape Town.”

“I am also most thankful to the facilitators who assisted us in working closely with the groups and theatre-makers to get the productions ready for the festival. We are pleased to announce that the attendance numbers were up this year and we would like to thank all those persons who bought tickets for the Zabalaza Challenge which enabled many young and, in some cases senior audience members who could not otherwise afford to attend.  We look forward to the next decade of the finest in development theatre.”

The 2020 Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival took place from 7 to 13 March. Shows were chosen at the four mini festival that took place in 2019 in Khayelitsha, Delft, Nyanga and Kraaifontein.

What: 2020 Zabalaza Theatre Festival winners