With many theatres still on shutdown mode, Market Theatre is bouncing back with virtual plays.
Heeding minister Nathi Mthethwa's call to experiment with virtual work, the theatre has commissioned the production of 10 plays of 15 minutes to be streamed online two weeks from now.
The productions are part of theatre’s initiative called Ditshomo/Story Time and will be written and directed by some of the country's talented artists like Napo Masheane, Palisa Mazamisa, Bobby Rodwell, Sipho Zakwe and Sbu Mamba.
Directors include Mmabatho Montsho and Mxolisi Masilela while Zikhona Sodlaka, Didie Makobane and Faniswa Yisa will be featured as actors.Market Theatre’s artistic director James Ngcobo said the country might be on a national lockdown but stories are never on pause.
Ngcobo said:“It is important to carry on with what we are doing as theatres because it is going to be difficult to draw people back to the theatres after this lockdown. The stories are never on pause, how I wake up this morning is a story on its own. We have been spearheading the imitative that Theatre Will Rise again that featured a series of monologues.”
“I have commissioned different stories to continue entertaining our audiences. Some stories are based on our experiencing right now. One of the stories looks at the escalation of the violence as we locked indoors. Napo will write a story about her experience as a mother during the lockdown and Sipho Zakwe is doing the same as a father.” For dance pieces, Ngcobo has added Themba Mbuli and South African dancer Vincent Mantswe who is currently based in Paris.
Meanwhile, Joburg City Theatres, a group which comprises of Joburg Theatre, Roodepoort Theatre and Soweto Theatre, has announced that it will remain closed for live performances until further restrictions were lifted.
Joburg City Theatres CEO, Xoliswa Nduneni Ngema, said: “Joburg City Theatres understands that this is a difficult period for South African Arts and Culture and the Creative sectors, including our audiences. As JCT we want to keep our audiences entertained and engaged during this Covid-19 lockdown period.