Targeted Human Rights Month Productions Announced at Artscape

The month of March in South Africa devotes special attention to human rights with March 21 as the official Human Rights Day. A historic moment will be captured in time as we honor those who fought for fundamental freedoms as they are now enshrined in our Constitution.

Artscape will honor the legacy of an iconic agent of change, the poet, Adam Small with the production “Die Poet, Wie’s Hy?” in honor of those who came before us. This production will run from March 15-19 and seeks to breathe new life into his written works. This will be done under the direction of Frieda van den Heever and Dean Balie with musical talent and accompaniment by Die Khoisan Gypsy Band. As a young intellectual, Professor Small strongly advocated the use of the voice. It was this media that he used to denounce various human rights violations under the apartheid government. He did this using various public platforms such as newspaper columns, open letters, his poems, plays, essays including public speaking. The production further explores who Small was as a person and an activist, as his works always help us recognize our origins, see ourselves in others, and explore our future together. Production is carried out in collaboration with Toyota Woordfees and NATi,

Similarly, as part of Human Rights Month events, the Manfred Zylle Rural Outreach Exhibition will feature a variety of artists from various genres, from classical Western to African natives, as well as well-known personalities. that reflect Artscape’s rural outreach program. This program which annually identifies a historically disadvantaged community either within the urban boundaries of rural areas to “bring theater to the community”. The work of art is an engagement with individuals and their position in society.

A special focus on LGBTIA+ rights achievements will also be celebrated. On March 9, the Cape Town Pride Proms 2022 will strut their stuff at the Opera House for a spectacular musical evening featuring local singers accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. As a first in Africa, this glamorous evening will feature songs and music that have been written or performed by LGBTIA+ people in recognition of the contribution of LGBTIA+ talent.

Prior to the above, on March 4 and 5, the production “She’s a Fighter” will be performed with the aim of creating and raising awareness about drug addiction, violence against women and children, and teenage pregnancy. The double true story depicts the struggles women go through and the challenges they face against the tide of the famous Cape Flats. It is a production of the First Community Resource Center Arts and Culture based in Hanover Park.

Artscape Arena will host the world premiere of Abrahamse and Meyer Productions’ drama “Contested Bodies” from March 16 to April 02. The throwing of human excrement by political activists, Chumani Maxwele, at the statue of British imperialist, Cecil John Rhodes, on March 9, 2015, has become a watershed moment in how South Africans respond to and relate to the trauma of our colonial past. In their “outrage for the scene”, Abrahamse and Meyer throw their own excrement in an outrageous entertainment that will probably be the most controversial and contested play of the year. The production is strictly for adults only as it contains scenes with foul language, partial male nudity, violence, bias and simulated sex.

At the end of the month, patrons can dance in celebration with the Unmute Dance Company’s Timelapse / We Are Here production. This dance spans a time-span of conversations around birth, memories and what those times lead to shaping new beginnings and will be performed from March 31 through April 2. These disabled dancers, as well as able-bodied dancers, will frame movements that portray actions that question what we are doing now and how that would profoundly affect what is to come. Through these actions and frameworks, we are witnessing a rebirth of time and conversations.

Jazzart Dance Theater under the direction of Sifiso Kweyama, Dane Hurst and Shaun Oelf will present Meraki, a production about doing something with soul, creativity or love; leave a piece and the essence of yourself in your work.

All activities comply with all COVID-19 regulations, including social distancing, and guests must wear masks to enter.

Tickets are available and can be reserved at Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-seat 021 421 7695. Visit the Artscape website (www.artscape.co.za) for more information.

Marjorie N. McClure