Creativity in a Time of Plague by Steven Stead

Steven Stead holds a Drama Hons degree from UKZN, and initially pursued an acting career, appearing in dozens of plays and musicals, winning awards for acting, in Shakespeare (Hamlet and The Tempest) and comedy (The Mystery of Irma Vep). However, he has spent the greater part of the last twenty years directing. For eight years he was senior staff director  at the English National Opera and directed many operas in London and elsewhere in Europe, before coming back to Durban to work with Greg King and develop KickstArt. Together they have revived the tradition of pantomime in the city, and have created some memorable drama productions: Private Lives, The Play That Goes Wrong, Jeeves and Wooster, The Ladykillers, Twitch, Venus in Fur, Red, The God of Carnage, Duet for One, Wit, Noises Off, Laughing Wild, Shirley Valentine, Dangerous Liaisons, Boston Marriage, Oleanna, Dracula, Popcorn, Don’t Dress for Dinner and The Road to Mecca. Musicals that they have produced include Camelot (in which he played King Arthur), The Wizard of Oz, Little Shop of Horrors, Peter Pan  I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Cabaret (which enjoyed a highly successful national tour), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Annie (in which he played Rooster) Sweeney Todd, Shrek the Musical ,  Snoopy!!! (played title role), Into the Woods and Chicago. Other directing credits include The Marriage of Figaro (ENO), Alcina (Oviedo and Bilbao, Spain) My Fair Lady and Bravo (Playhouse Company), Rigoletto and La Traviata (Opera Africa), and Cosi Fan Tutte, I Capuleti e I Montecchi and  Valley Song (Cape Town Opera).

Recognising and Extending the Role of the Arts in our Society by Rucera Seethal

Rucera Seethal is artistic director of the multi-disciplinary National Arts Festival based in Makhanda, South Africa.  Previously programme manager at the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia Johannesburg, responsible for the performing arts portfolio across Switzerland and the Southern African region, and for co-adjudicating its Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation regional grant programme. She has sat on a handful of award juries and is currently part of the international component of Theatrefestival Basel’s 2022 programme team.  She was art director and production manager at Chimurenga, the award-winning arts, culture and politics magazine, between 2004 to 2011.

Home as Creative Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning Embodied Practice(s) During COVID-19 by Kamogelo Molobye

Kamogelo Molobye is a choreographer, performer, researcher and writer. In addition, he is lecturer and course convener for movement studies, physical theatre and choreogrtaphy at The University of the Witwatersrand with the Theatre and Performance Division. He is a PhD Candidate of the University of the Witwatersrand, Wits School of Arts, specializing in movement studies and choreographic practices. His research is on indigenous embodied practices and decolonial physical theatre pedagogies specific to South African theatre and performance departments.

In a State of Readiness by Kyla Davis

“I am a theatre-creator and a home-maker. I care deeply about our Earth, and the interconnected relationships between people and eco-systems. I believe in a just transition to a more sustainable future where life (human and non-human) is valued above profit. I am moved by the potential for theatrical process to inspire hearts, radicalise minds and mobilise hands towards a more empathetic and caring world. I am powerfully drawn to choral work. I enjoy experimenting with the endless possibilities for play within an ensemble where there are no leaders and no followers but rather, a hivemind of hyper-present performers. I also love to make masks and puppets to take outside and cause a ruckus!”- Kyla Davis

In Coversation with Blythe Stuart Linger

Blythe Stuart Linger is a passionate arts practitioner who works both in South Africa and abroad. As managing director of the largest Shakespearian youth festival in Africa and the incorporator of BSL Management (PTY) Ltd. Linger is dedicated to the sustainability of the Arts and Cultural industry, creating opportunities for artists to be able to earn, while practising their craft. From Arts administration, budgets, producing to directing Linger takes every opportunity to engage with the communities around him through theatrical mediums. He is a firm believer in the power of the arts and their ability to bring about understanding, empathy, healing, and growth in an ever-changing world.

Artists Battling Monsters by Fred Khumalo

Fred Khumalo is the author of 13 books, his latest work being A Coat of Many Colours (short story collection). His novel Dancing the Death Drill won the 2019 Humanities and Social Sciences Award.  A stage adaptation of it was performed at the Royal Opera House in London, and at the Bergen International Festival in Norway, in 2019. He holds an MA Creative Writing from Wits University, is a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, a Fellow of the Academy of the Arts of the World (Cologne, Germany), and is also a PhD (Creative Writing) candidate at the University of Pretoria

And This Much Remained by Refilwe Nkomo

Refilwe Nkomo is a Johannesburg based social practice artist, curator, educator and producer working at the intersection of arts and social justice. She has received numerous awards and presented work in multiple countries. She has founded and co-founded various platforms including We Are Here (WAH) which works with men and boys to dismantle gender based violence. She has an MA in Arts and Politics from New York University, is one of Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans for 2020 and a 2019/2020 Clore Chevening Fellow. Refilwe is currently the Director of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa

Chop Wood, Carry Water by Kate Normington

Kate Normington is a South African actress, singer, and songwriter. Normington first rose to national prominence playing Sister Mary Amnesia in the Alhambra Theatre’s production of Nunsense in 1987, and has appeared on the West End and South African stage, and in local and international film and television productions:

Theatre – Sister Mary Amnesia, Nunsense, 1987; Joanna, Sweeney Todd; Niki, Sweet Charity, 1987; Josephine, Romance Romance; Guinevere, Camelot and Eliza in My Fair Lady, 1990; Janet, Rocky Horror picture show, 1993; Irene, Crazy for you, 1994; understudied and performed Norma Desmond, Sunset Boulevard, 1995, Adelphi Theatre London;  Tell me on a Sunday 1995; Rose Vibert, Aspects of Love, Hampshire 1996; The Bakers wife, Into the Woods, Leicester 1997, Grace Farrell, Annie, Victoria Palace, West End 1999; Miss Bell, Fame, 2002; Soapstar, Menopause, 2003; Bombshells, 2005; Velma Von Tussle, Hairspray, 2007; Miss Darbus, High School musical, 2008; Tanya, Mama Mia!, 2010; Norah Ephron’s ‘Love loss and what I wore’, 2011; Fraulein Kost, Cabaret, 2012. Marjorie Houseman, Dirty Dancing , 2013. A comedy sketch show written and co-devised with Jaci de Villiers, ‘Two in the Bush’ 2014; Mother Superior in the Johannesburg Theatre production of Sister Act, 2015; The ‘lead actress’ in the Market Theatre’s production of Pirandello’s Six characters in search of an author 2015; Aunty Silly in Janice Honeyman’s 2016 pantomime, Babes in the Wood. Mrs Brice in the Fugard’s production of ‘Funny Girl’ 2017; Mrs White in Aunty Merle, the musical 2017; Liz Essendine in Present Laughter at the Theatre on the Bay, 2017; Mrs Frears and various other characters in ‘ The Curious incident of a dog in the night time ’ 2018; ‘The Witch’ in Kickstart’s production of ‘Into the Woods’, 2019; The Narrator in The Rocky Horror Picture Show 2020.

Film and Television: Regardt van den Berg’s Sheltering Desert; Brendan Pollecutt’s Oh Boy; Ordinary People, The NFVN’s , The Last Doorman, and most recently international release, Three Way Junction’s ‘White’, and ‘Last days of American Crime.’

Television includes; Scandal; The Res; Backstage; Shado’s; Hard Copy, Sewende Laan and The Lab 2. Marc Lottering’s Comedy series, Tim Greene’s, ‘Those who can’t’ for which she received a 2017 SAFTA nomination for best supporting actress in a comedy. Kate performed the role of Pam Henshaw in ‘High Rollers’, ‘Miche’ Shapiro in ‘Tali’s Wedding’ for Showmax, and recently Liza in ‘Still breathing’ for M Net. She also recently featured in Netflix’s ‘How to ruin Christmas’ as Candice Harden and the long awaited sequel to Tali’s wedding diaries on Showmax playing Tali’s mother Michelle Shapiro in ‘Tali’s Baby diaries’.

Kate has two solo albums, -Her own, Mother’s Daughter and Tell me on a Sunday. Other credits include; Best actress Nunsense, 1987; Best actress Bombshells, 2006; Best actress in a musical, Velma Von Tussle, Hairspray, 2007; Best supporting actress, Tanya, Mama Mia!, 2010. Kate received a Naledi nomination for her role as Mother Superior in Sister Act, and Aunty Silly in Robin Hood as well as a Fleur du Cap nomination for Fraulein Kost in Cabaret and Mrs Brice in Funny Girl. Kate recently won a Naledi for best female performance in a musical for her role as the Witch in Kickstart’s production of ‘Into the Woods’ as well as being nominated for a Fleur du Cap for the same role and that of the Narrator in the Rocky Horror Picture Show

Dancing to the Tune of a Pandemic by Lesego van Niekerk

Lesego is a dancer, choreographer, producer and artistic consultant born and bred in Meadowlands,  Soweto. She has had an extensive career in the performing arts, a career that boasts in versatility  and adaptability and has seen her grace stages in prestgious productions like African Footprint and  Chicago the Musical. Lesego recently joined Nalithemba Productions as a creatve producer. And in an effort to develop and sustain dance in South Africa, she also sits on the board of the Sustaining  Theatre and Dance (STAND) Foundation, and serves in the Nation Steering Council of the Theatre and Dance Alliance.

Paper Trails by Justine Loots

Justine Loots is a Johannesburg-based screenwriter with over 20 years’ professional experience. Recent work includes writing the Christmas movie Herb & Moon (aired on Showmax and M-Net); writing on a Netflix Africa Originals series (in production), and on a documentary series on anti-apartheid activist Neil Aggett (in production). Justine has written on a diverse range of television series, including When We Were Black (Season 2); Ayeye (picked up by Showmax), Isithembiso (SAFDA winner for Best Telenovela Writing Team) and others. Her background is in documentary making. She produced inserts for Carte Blanche and Carte Blanche Africa for 6 years.

How Covid-19 affected me, my Industry and my Life.

Mark Stent is a DJ and Producer from South Africa. Since 2005 he has been a huge name in the South African DJ scene effortlessly delivering many styles of music including House, Tech House and Techno. He owns three record labels: Stentfire Music, Flexual Records and 3 Girls Music which allow him to release his own music and that of other South African artists. He has had multiple radio number ones and chart-topping success on 5 radio stations, and his track “Come back home” held number 1 on 5fm for 12 weeks, it was also the overall number 1 on the Top 100 for 2016. In 2020, Mark’s album ‘Solitude’ was nominated for a SAMA award for ‘best pop album’

Will the Covid Crisis Spawn a New Generation of Actors by Roel Twijnstra

Sir Roel Twijnstra is an actor, lecturer, director and writer. Originally from the Netherlands he lives and works permanently since 2012 in South Africa. He is the director of TWIST Theatre Development Projects. Currently he is the Programme Coordinator for Live Performance at AFDA Durban, focusing on the development of screen acting. He acted in different films and series like Imbewu, Durban Gen and the feature film Tokolosh. He directed between 1980 and 2016 more than 50 theatre productions including international collaborations in Russia, US and different African countries and wrote books about acting, directing and producing, the latest: Acting in South Africa (2019). In 2019 he was knighted by the king of the Netherlands for his contribution to the arts. He lives with his wife Philisiwe and daughter Nondalo in Durban. www.roeltwijnstra.nl

Opportunity Dances with Those Already on The Dance Foor by Liesl Hefkie

As an organised and creative individual who has always had an immense love for advancing brands coupled with her love of any form of entertainment from theatre, television, live eventing and radio, Liesl Hefkie has always enjoyed the challenges of working within a dynamic and fast paced working environment. Liesl’s career has included creating magic as part of an amazing team whilst at SABC Corporate Marketing, later heading up Marketing at Radio 2000, SAfm and 5fm respectively. She attributes these great opportunities to her work ethic and commitment. A key skill set is bringing alive strategy, eventing and campaign elements that facilitate valuable brand and audience interactions.

Stuck at Home Baking Bread or Finding your Way back to Centre Stage by Owen Lonzar

Owen is a choreographer, director, creative director and producer with 30 years in the industry under his belt. His credits include 400 events for most of South Africa’s top events companies, for live as well as televised events (Miss SA pageant included), over 30 theatre productions, six years as Resident Choreographer and Artistic Director of the University of Johannesburg Dance Company. He has worked on 28 international productions – creating, directing and choreographing 24 shows for TUI Germany in their resorts worldwide over an 11-year period. He has worked in Sydney three times, once as Staging director of  a touring production from South Africa and twice to Direct the Australian LGBTI Awards, and in Auckland, NZ directing the NZ LGBTI Awards

During lockdown he was Creative Director for an international online entertainment festival run by Curve Magazine in Sydney as well as the founder of Waiting in the Wings SA feeding entertainment professionals and creating online content.

The Maskerade by Danica Jones

Danica Jones is a female creative of colour based in Johannesburg. Untrained, she was given the opportunity to take her place on stage of the independent production; The Secret Valley of Great Kings, which then sparked her journey as a performer. She is a mother, wife and avid advocate for human rights. Her contribution to the industry is mainly based on an interactive platform, with interactive theatre performances, indie films and movement.

Plunged in a Plague by Billy Langa

Billy Langa is an award-winning actor, playwright, director and educator. Langa takes a curious approach to theatre that is deeply relational to the body – puzzling out what theatre means to those who perform it and those who witness it. A recent interest of Langa’s is the presence of language, and how it fits into the physicality of theatre. His directing credits include A Place of Knowing, Just Antigone, Sophiatown and Brainstorm. As a performer he was seen in Tswalo (Germany, South Africa and Scandinavia), Salt (the Centre for the Less Good Idea), Redsoil/Brownsoil (National Arts Festival, Market Theatre and The Centre for the Less Good Idea), Egoli (Market Theatre Foundation), Waiting for Godot (the Centre for the Less Good Idea), Thirst (Amsterdam, Netherlands and the United Kingdom). Billy Langa has recently created and contributed as a collaborator on various digital platforms such as ICA Online Fellowship, Virtual National Arts Festival & Bony Fyah Online Festival. His awards include Cape Town Fringe Fresh Award for Performance, Standard Bank Ovation award, The Naledi Theatre Award for Best Production for young audiences, ACT (Arts and Culture Trust) Finalist, ICA Online fellowship Award, and Naledi Theatre Award for Best Solo performance

In Conversation with Yaaseen Barnes

Formerly having been awarded two of South Africa’s highest accolades – the Savanna Comic’s Choice Award for Best Newcomer and the Intermediate Comic of the Year award – Yaaseen was named amongst The Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Youth in 2016. An inspiration to the stand-up comedy scene; Yaaseen hosts a weekly stand-up comedy gig open to all in encouragement of growing the comedy scene amongst woman comedians and comedians of colour in Cape Town. Yaaseen has performed to sold out shows touring the country as well as taking South African satirical comedy to Canada as part of a stand-up comedy collective – Day Zero: The Water Shortage Comedy Tour. He has also won the popular radio station GoodHope FM’s Laughmaster Competition. He has created his own web series – The Weekly Noise – which is quickly increasing in popularity. He also co-hosts a podcast with content writer Karen Jeynes. However; Yaaseen is more than just Cape Town’s favourite funny guy, he is also a popular social media powerhouse. From the tweets, to the streets; he has featured on television in the SAFTA winning game show Point of Order, and has joined the Both Worlds writing team for Point of Order, Parlement Parlement, Comedy Central News, as well as the twice Emmy nominated ZANews. Yaaseen is growing his brand by creating online content for various brands, including Jive, Whiskas and Otees.

Surviving Covid-19 by Maurice Mbikayi

Maurice Mbikayi  was born in 1974, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. He lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. Graduated in Advertising and Visual Communication, from the Academies des Beaux-Arts in Kinshasa. Completed his Master of Fine Arts degree (with distinction) in 2015 at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. He has been featured in exhibitions globally, including, among others, CONGOVILLE in Middelheim Museum in Antwerp; Kunsthalle Tübingen Stiftung in Germany; the World Bank in Washington DC; the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts of Michigan; the South Africa National Gallery; Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art; at the Kunsthaus Graz Museum in Austria; Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg, Kër Thiossane in Dakar, and ZKM in Karlshrue, Germany.

Breathing in and out; my New Slow Dance by Musa Hlatswayo

Musa Hlatshwayo  is a performing artist, choreographer and creative/artistic director of his own company; Mhayise Productions. Musa’s speciality is in researching, creating, staging and producing cutting-edge and socially-conscious contemporary dance theatre and environmentally friendly multidisciplinary site-specific work. He also facilitates engaging creative workshops in arts festivals, schools and alternative or creative learning spaces where he fuses Afrocentric (conventional and non-conventional) approaches to performative contemporary and cultural and artistic expression that sees voice and body as one.