#JustMen returns to the Baxter for a second instalment in tackling the scourge of violence against women and children and toxic masculinity.
In a post #MeToo movement world, the return of #JustMen, made possible through funding from the City of Cape Town, hopes to further the discussion and bring healing to help turn the tide on this scourge, that continues to hit staggering and unacceptable proportions, as it tears families and communities apart.
Directed by Heinrich Reisenhofer (Joe Barber, Suip!), this latest production sees the return of Loukmaan Adams (Aunty Merle, The Musical, Kat and the Kings) and Thando Doni (Ityala Lamwele, Ubuze Bam). They are joined by Peter Christians, a reformed convict and rap artist who now works as a facilitator in conflict resolution for the Alternatives to Violence Project and gives talks to youth at risk. Together, the cast and team have devised and revised the play through a rigorous research and workshop process.
#JustMen is an honest and empowering, multi-lingual docudrama, performed by South African men who tell their own stories and confront their own toxic masculinity, as a contributing factor in the violence perpetuated against women and children.
Overwhelmingly stirring and shocking
Director Reisenhofer explains, “This was probably one of the most difficult experiences these actors and I have ever gone through – to be willing to stare this legacy in the face and own it. The result was an overwhelmingly stirring and sometimes, shocking, but healing theatre experience. It changed and shifted the lives of so many people who saw the production. Since then I have had many people come up to me, telling me how hearing our stories – through this experience – brought closure to their own trauma. Inspiring them to take action and get involved in making a difference.”
Much of the success of the debut production last year, was that the work and the actors did not judge audience members. It challenged men to take collective ownership and created a space which strongly encouraged interactive discussions and engagement, after each performance for both male and female audience members in separate venues.
The Saturday Argus said, “It should be taken to schools and theatres nationally” and WeekendSpecial described it as “a show that needs to be seen … It is essential.”
Now, a year later gender-based violence is still pervasive and prevalent, and more relevant than ever. By way of conversation and introspection the cast of #JustMen ask the question: “What needs to happen for men to truly heal and change?”
As an added support this season will offer a series of workshops for men, led by skilled community leaders from gender-based organisations, on 20 July, 27 July and 3 August 2019. They will unpack masculinity in a safely held space where men can come to share and process their own stories and experience its transformative power. Details of these workshops will follow soon.
Where and when: Baxter from 17 July to 3 August