The festival, themed “Sex Actually”, uses the performing and visual arts to talk frankly with the nation’s young adults about sex, HIV and relationships. All events are free or by donation, and are set to stimulate lively debate and discussion around hot-potato topics.
The Drama for Life Festival kicks off on Wednesday and Thursday at various venues on the University of KwaZulu-Natal campus in Pietermaritzburg, including the Hexagon Theatre, the Movement Room and the Studio Theatre, with film screenings of Fireman, directed by Terence Nzuza, in Room 113.
The programme includes two highly acclaimed plays from Peter Hayes – Ncamisa! The Women and I Am Here.
Ncamisa! The Women (on Wednesday at 2.30pm and Thursday at 6pm in the Studio Theatre) is based on the true story of Zoliswa Nkonyana, a black lesbian who was beaten and stabbed to death by a group of young men because of her sexuality.
I Am Here (on Thursday at 8pm at the Hexagon Theatre), directed by Jaqueline Dommisse, is a deeply personal work performed by Hayes, who, after deciding to adopt a child, found out that he was HIV positive.
Not to be missed is PJ Sabbagha’s HIV/Aids-inspired multimedia contemporary dance work Deep Night, featuring Standard Bank Young Artist Dada Masilo, on Wednesday at 8pm at the Hexagon Theatre.
The Ubom! Eastern Cape Drama Company will be staging Hush – a funny, hard-hitting production that tackles topics usually shied away from in polite conversation.
In addition, there will be a number of interactive music, choreography and performance workshops, by Clowns Without Borders among others. Also catch the DfL Lover and Another poetry performance by the young winners of the Maritzburg leg of this competition.
Durban DfL programme
The Drama for Life Festival wraps up its 2010 nationwide tour in Durban on Friday and Saturday, at venues such as the Performance Lab and Actors Studio at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the Open-Air Theatre and Movement Room on UKZN’s Durban campus.
There will be a performance of the provocative Ubom! production Hush (on Friday at 5pm, at the UKZN Open-Air Theatre), as well as Tarryn Lee’s performance installation Sex Machine (on Friday at noon at the DUT Performance Lab and on Saturday at 3pm at the UKZN Movement Room), an artistic journey centring on the positive and negative consequences that human connections can yield.
Like the Maritzburg leg, the Durban festival will feature an array of workshops, on themes such as “Capturing Emotions Through Music”, and the DfL Playback Theatre group will be holding interactive performances and giving workshops in both KZN cities.
Laugh along with Durban-based collective Clowns Without Borders during workshops, and laugh even more during their production Siyasebenza! at 11am on Saturday, at the UKZN Open-Air Theatre. This rip-roaring physical comedy explodes traditional stereotypes about gender, race and culture, turning our everyday struggles and triumphs upside down.
It’s time to get creative, explode myths, explore issues and get talking about sex! For the full DfL programme and details of venues and times, visit www.dramaforlife.co.za. Please note that some works carry age restrictions due to their graphic or provocative content.
All events are free, but donations are welcome. For the full DfL programme in Pietermaritzburg, visit www.dramaforlife.co.za