Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Sneak Peek: Out The Box Festival!

Nicola Jackman in Mafrika-kie

In 2011 the

Out the Box  Festival of
Puppetry and Visual Performance 
is going green!

UNIMA SA is working with a number of artists and key stakeholders, including COPART and GREENPOP, to raise awareness around climate change and inspire

 new behaviours for sustainable living. The “Arts for a Sustainable Earth” Platform features plays that inspire us to think differently about our relationship with the planet and with one another, as well as workshops, dialogues and exchanges to heighten awareness and shift perceptions. This platform will be situated in Observatory at Magnet Theatre and Theatre Arts Admin Collective, as well as at various sites around the vibey suburb.

UNIMA South Africa’s annual Out the Box Festival of Puppetry and Visual Performance, made possible by the generous support of the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), is a 9-day multidisciplinary event celebrating innovation, diversity and sustainability, running at various venues from 3-11 September. Directed by Yvette Hardie, the festival provides a platform for performing and visual artists to collaborate, to push boundaries and to blur the lines of their disciplines in order to create provocative and ground-breaking work.  This 6th edition of Out the Box promises to be the largest festival of puppetry and visual theatre in Africa, and attracts artists from all over the world.

The productions featured on the green platform span every nuance from the craftily educational to the wildly enigmatic. The Kenyan Institute of Puppet Theatre offers The Last Man Standing, a tale of a brave wildebeest encountering the worlds of the living and the dead. Jori Snell’s extraordinary and deeply evocative Inua, a hit of Out the Box 2010, returns on this platform. Well Worn Theatre Company, headed up by Kyla Davis, twice named as an M&G Top 200 Young South African, brings two productions, Planet B, directed by Helen Iskander, and The Pollution Revolution which was been touring extensively to schools in Gauteng.  For the younger audiences, Jungle Theatre Company brings their special kind of interactive magic with The Whale Show, while KZN-based Arley’s Workshop will surprise and energise its audiences with the infectious, outrageous The Green Revolution. 

Site specific works include Jutta Holzapfel’s Tall Order, where you’ll encounter a prehistoric bird guarding a nest with giant eggs, and Loa, the stilted bird-rider. The Village Green will come to life with Ubla Trubla Trubla by French group, Compagnie Crache Larmes, an outdoor show about water that splashes, swirls and pulls you into an aquatic adventure of clowning and playfulness. Other productions at Magnet Theatre include Nicola Jackman’s Mafrika-kie, Imbewu’s The Adventures of Sam Swallow and Adolf en s'y papier poppe' by Cape Winelands.

The first day of the festival, Saturday 3rd, will be filled with activity. COPART will hold Earth Forums - intimate, interactive and explorative dialogue spaces that access each participant's picture of how they live in a climate-changing world.  A puppetry parade starting at Observatory Junior school and finishing at the Observatory Village Green will add to the festivities, and POPART will showcase the creativity of schoolchildren and of an Emzantsi community theatre group, Natural Fire. There will also be opportunities for greening activities throughout the festival under the auspices of Greenpop. 

For further info regarding the dates and times and venues of each production please visit:

 All tickets are via Computicket or 08619158000. Enquiries are via 021 4625811.

Funders of the green platform include Artists Project Earth (APE) and the British Council. Other confirmed sponsors for 2011 include The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), The Nussbaum Foundation, Arts and Culture Trust (ACT), Cape Tercentenary Foundation, The Learning Trust, Pro Helvetia, Goethe Institute, Royal Netherlands Embassy, and the Embassy of Belgium – Delegation of the Flemish Government. In-kind sponsors and partners include Copart, Greenpop, Fire & Ice Protea Hotel, 15 on Orange, G&D Live, Go2 Productions, Coffee Beans Routes, Observatory Community Association (OCA) and Observatory Improvement District (OBSID). UNIMA SA is sponsored by the Department of Culture, Arts and Sports (DCAS) and some of this sponsorship contributes to the participation of the ACTIVE programme in the festival. UNIMA is also developing strong relationships with Cape Town Tourism and the City of Cape Town to build the brand of the festival into the future, and with The Learning Trust, to support the development and employability of young artists.

Information Provided by Allison Foat, via Yusrah Bardien.

*Keep up the good work guys!

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