Creating Theatre in the Age of Corona is a series of five new performance works created in response to lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions, thanks to an initiative by Theatre Arts.
Renowned as an inclusive, accessible platform for artists to develop new work, Theatre Arts championed an innovative campaign with the Creating Theatre in the Age of Corona series.
A call was made for artists to propose physically distanced performances. Five have been selected for presentation and the programme features a captivating range of dance, movement, theatre and installation. This programme has been made possible by Gordon Hirschowitz.
The series starts on 10 October, 2020, with Craig Leo and Robin Kirsten’s Nothing is Here featuring Unmute Dance Company and Ukwanda Puppets and Design Art Collective. From 14 to 18 October, Rafé Green presents Modorenai (pictured above). This is followed with Cwaka from 22 October, directed by Qondiswa James and developed in collaboration with a stellar creative team. Shirley-Anne Bezuidenhout presents Syndesi from 11 to 14 November, with Megan Furniss and Louise Westerhout rounding off the series with Murmurations from 2 to 5 December.
“This season is not about lockdown and Covid but a response to the challenges and restrictions artists face in presenting theatre at this time,” says Caroline Calburn, Director of Theatre Arts.
“This is live performance that takes at its heart the idea that artists and audience need to remain physically distanced, at least two metres apart, and how we can meet and still be social just not physically close to each other. This project rebels against the notion that theatre needs to take to the screen in order to survive during this time. Never have we been asked to rethink the concept of theatre and experiment more.
“With only fifteen seats available at each performance to keep within the confines of social distancing, we have found that audiences are experiencing theatre at a different level – intimate, exclusive, almost with a new purity of engagement.”
The line up for Creating Theatre in the Age of Corona:
NOTHING IS HERE
Saturday 10 to Sunday 11 October (4pm and 7pm on 10 Oct; 3pm and 6pm on 11 Oct)
An experimental piece that takes nothing as it’s subject matter, performed in and around an architectural sculpture comprised of multiple doors by Robin Kirsten, titled Study for a Museum of Opening Doors.
Conceived and created by Craig Leo and Robin Kirsten, Nothing is Here (pictured right) is developed in collaboration with Unmute Dance Company and includes Ukwanda Puppets and Design Art Collective. It is choreographed by Themba Mbuli and performed by Siphenathi Mayekiso and Andile Vellem.
Wednesday 14 to Sunday 18 October (7pm)
Modorenai, a Japanese word that translates as ‘we cannot return’, explores different states of mind around touch and finding ways to come to terms with the enforced distance placed between people. This movement piece looks at how touch becomes more than a physical gesture, and transforms into emotional, psychological, spiritual connections with others. Modorenai, is conceived, choreographed and directed by Rafé Green, and performed and co-created with Darion Adams and Crystal Finck.
Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 October (7.30pm on 22,23,24 Oct; 3pm on 25 Oct)
Two sisters, twins in their late 20s, have grown up estranged from each other. When their birthmother goes missing, they begin to share dreams and must rescue their mother from a fear demon in the ancestral realm together. Cwaka is conceived and directed by Qondiswa James and co-written by the artistic team. It features Tankiso Mamabolo and Namisa Mdlalose with sound design by Gugulethu Duma and music performed by Sibahle Sky Dladla. Set design and lighting is by Themba Stewart.
Wednesday 11 to Saturday 14 November (8pm)
Syndesi is a dance work that explores the idea of relationship through space and the different ways of maintaining connection and cohesion despite physical separation. It is conceived, created, choreographed and directed by Shirley-Anne Bezuidenhout and performed by Celeste Botha, Sasha Fourie Myburgh and Tamsyn Spannenberg.
Wednesday 2 to Saturday 5 December (8pm)
Conceived, created and facilitated by theatremaker, director and storyteller Megan Furniss and performance artist, poet and curator, Louise Westerhout, Murmurations explores unanswerable questions. Must we grant you permission? Are we oroborus; eating our own tails? Are we lying? Is this beautiful? Is it the healing or the offering?
What: Creating Theatre in the Age of Corona
Where and when: Theatre Arts, Observatory, 10 October – 5 December 2020
More info: Bookings must be made online in keeping with Covid-19 protocols. No cash sales at the door. For booking queries call 082 752 1376. Doors open 15 minutes before the start of the performances. No latecomers can be admitted. Covid-19 protocols are observed including social distancing, temperature checks, taking of contact details and audience members must wear masks. Theatre Arts is situated at Methodist Church Hall, corner of Milton Road and Wesley Street, Observatory, Cape Town.