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Directors and Directing Symposium: Playwrights and Writing for the Theatre (GIPCA - Cape Town, South Africa)

Deadline: 24 - 26 August 2012

Following the popularity of last year’s Directors and Directing symposium, GIPCA acknowledges the need for the existence of such a forum as an annual event: a space for theorists, practitioners and students of the theatre to come together and talk about key issues facing those who work in or watch or write about the theatre. This year, the focus is on Playwrights and Writing for the Theatre. Playwrights, directors, critics and actors will converge from various parts of the country to address some of the key features of these debates. The symposium goes behind the scenes and gets to the core of theatrical performance: the presence (or absence) of the written text.

Directors and Directing: Playwrights will include theatre visits, performances, play readings and informal talks, but primarily will comprise a symposium with a variety of panels. Addresses will be made by acclaimed playwrights and directors: esteemed writer Dr Sindiwe Magona, the Baxter Theatre’s Lara Foot, the provocative and always topical Mike van Graan, Aubrey Sekhabi from the State Theatre and highly respected director James Ngcobo. Theatre visits, which form an integral part of the conference, include Alexandre Marine’s adaptation of JM Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians at the Baxter Theatre Centre, Emerging Theatre Directors Bursary winner Thando Doni's Utopia at Theatre Arts Admin Collective and playreadings by Megan Furniss and Louis Viljoen.

The conference comprises several themed panels in which writers and directors discuss their different approaches to shaping performance with and without text. Is the rise of genres such as visual performance and workshop theatre a threat to the written text or do they challenge the playwright’s innovation and craft? Inside the darkened theatre, one may well ask: Whose text trumps whose? Writer, director, designer, producer, audience or critic?

Writers who will be talking about their work include Juliet Jenkin (The Boy Who Fell From The Roof); Nicholas Spagnoletti (London Road), Genna Gardini and UCT’s Sabata Sesiu. A panel based on the relationship between writers and directors includes, Sanjin Muftic and Amy Jephta, while Jacqueline Dommisse talks about her role in directing the work of Peter Hayes. Preceded by an innovative “performed paper” by rising stars Kim Kerfoot and Jason Potgieter, a special panel devoted to ideas around adaptations, ownership and collaborative writing will feature writers Ingrid Wylde and Karen Jeynes, and Dr Peter Churu from the University of Zimbabwe.

A crucial shift in the symposium proceedings considers the move towards alternate texts. UCT’s Head of Drama and Magnet Theatre Director, Professor Mark Fleishman, and acclaimed theatre innovators Brett Bailey and Mandla Mbothwe, lead this discussion. This will be preceded by a special visit to the final rehearsal of Brett Bailey’s superbly evocative medEia before its extensive European tour. The discussions will culminate in a panel of innovative theatre makers that talk to new trends of theatre making and text, followed by Richard Antrobus' critically acclaimed Stilted, performed with Tristan Jacobs.


Tickets will be available through Computicket. Please note that tickets are sold under two venues - the Baxter Theatre Centre (Friday 24 August) and Hiddingh Hall (Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August). Three day passes are sold as 'Related Packages' by Computicket.


  • Full event (24-26 August) - R175. This includes all talks and performances, the opening function, lunches and light suppers.
  • Friday 24 August - R100
  • Saturday 25 August - R75
  • Sunday 26 August - R50
  • Full event (24-26 August) - R140. This includes all talks and performances, the opening function, lunches and light suppers.
  • Friday 24 August - R80
  • Saturday 25 August - R60
  • Sunday 26 August - R40
Venue: Hiddingh Hall, UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Download: Directors and Directing: Playwrights programme


For queries: fin-gipca@uct.ac.za

Website: http://www.gipca.uct.ac.za

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Directors and Directing Symposium: Playwrights and Writing for the Theatre (GIPCA - Cape Town, South Africa) + south africa literature