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THE yearly Stop Crime Drama Festival is headed for the Free State in December thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, writes Victor Mecoamere.
Supported by Sowetan for the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation's youth development projects, the festival is the brainchild of Dramatists Against Crime. This organisation is led by artists Martin Koboekae and Julian Seleke Mokoto.
Now in its 13th year, the festival is an excellent anti-crime initiative. Youngsters are invited to stage anti-crime plays that they direct, act in, do the lighting and stage manage.
In this way they are given the space and time to express their views on the futility and folly of crime and criminality through music, drama, dance, poetry and prose.
The Free State's drama groups are invited to present 20-minute- plays at auditions at Mmabana Thaba-Nchu on November 13 at 1pm and at the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State in Bloemfontein on November 14 at 9am. Only groups with rehearsed pieces will be considered.
Successful groups will be coached by professional writers and directors for three weeks and will then be featured in the festival at Mmabana Thaba-Nchu on December 4 and 5.
For more info call Martin Koboekae on 082-965-6256 or e-mail email@example.com
Some artists who cut their teeth in the festival:
lOscar-winner Presley Chweneyagae. He won the best actor award in the North West leg of the showcase in 2001. Last year his two-hander, Cell Number 4, won the best production accolade.
lTerry Pheto, who is best known for her part in Athol Fugard's movie adaptation of the stage drama Tsotsi and the SABC1 drama-series Zone 14.
lKere Nyawo and Thulani Didi, popularly known as Popeye and Spinach in Zone 14.
lDouglas Tsimane, an assistant director in North West's arts and culture department, won several awards for his play The Reward.
lCarol Behane, who portrays Lebo in Zone 14, is a regular who assists with workshops and merchandising.
lBongani Linda of Shaka-Zulu fame has featured in five plays and has won best production two times with his popular work Hola Magenge.
lNtshieng Sithe has contributed as a director and workshop facilitator and contributed two shows, Zishubile and Umdlwembe.
lPaul Grootboom, writer of the award-winning mainstream theatre production Cards, won the best writer award forCrime Story.
lDarlington Michaels of the popular soapie Isidingo has featured in the playsJackroll, Herebedesh and My Child Democracy.
lJabu "Chirwali" Nkosi and Jerry "Mofokeng" Phele of the popular SABC1 comedy show Emzini Wezinsizwa, have been guest artists, motivators and mentors.