Theatre is much more than entertainment. It is a form of self expression. It’s an interpretation of life. And for some it is a saving grace.
For years the Magnet Theatre have been working hard to educate and benefit the community with theatre. They especially strive to reach those from previously disadvantaged communities, who have been denied access to theatre skills and performances in the past. From putting on shows, to teaching people physical theatre and theatre making, Magnet Theatre have been bring magic into the lives of so many. Now it’s time to bring some magic to them.
Five incredible performers who have come through Magnet Theatre have been invited to perform at the prestigious La Baracca Testoni Ragazzi Children’s Theatre Festival in Italy. Jason Jacobs, Nolufefe Ntshuntshe, Athenkosi Mfamela, and Babalwa Makwetu are the cast of Ekhaya (Home), a play aimed at three to seven year-olds. It is directed by Koleka Putuma. Ekhaya delves into a the understanding of being at home, a concept that is so important. Ekhaya has toured all over rural farmlands and townships in the Cape to help children from those community feel pride and security in the places they call home.
Now they have the opportunity to perform in Italy, but they need our help. The entire cast come from under-resourced communities. While the festival can cover a small amount needed, they need more money to turn this dream into a reality. The total cost required is R 123 560. Testoni Ragazzi has contributed R60 000 and accommodation for the cast. They need R63 560 to make the total. Magnet Theatre has created a crowdfunding campaign to help them reach their goal.
Ekhaya was selected by the Testoni Ragazzi Festival because of its ability to explore the home in a gentle and nurturing way. Getting the performers to the festival will do much more than help them realise their dream. It will give us the opportunity to showcase original local theater in Europe. It will give Ekhaya a chance to get picked up by other international festivals and organisations. Most importantly, it will give the cast collaborative and networking opportunities on an international level.
Here the cast explain why Ekhaya is such an important piece of theatre:
Photography courtesy Magnet Theatre