Vibrant arts at Vrygrond Family Festival

Assitej SA
11/27/2017 17:01:46

ASSITEJ South Africa hosts the 5th annual Vrygrond Family Festival from 29 November – 3 December, rich in opportunities to engage and enjoy the arts.

The aim of the festival is to provide a platform where children and youth from this vibrant but deprived community are engaged in theatre made specifically for them. The festival also serves as a vehicle for youth in the community to explore and develop their creative passions.

Our partners for the project are Capricorn Primary School, Vrygrond Young Minds, Fundza & Cover to Cover, and the Butterfly Art Project.

This project is made possible by the Department of Arts and Culture through a grant to the Community Arts and Culture Centres Federation of the Western Cape (CACCFWC), which supports a total of 25 community-based projects across the province. In addition, professionals such as Mothertongue Project, Makukhanye Art Room and Baeletsi Tsatsi are presenting their productions at reduced rates, in support of the #Takeachildtothetheatretoday campaign, which is driven by ASSITEJ South Africa.

Now in its fifth iteration the festival has given rise to a number of strong community partnerships, one of which is the relationship with Capricorn Primary School. What used to be a series of once-off workshops with learners from the school has now turned into a 3-day creative intervention from 29 November – 1 December. This will include drama workshops, visual activities and music workshops that will culminate in a performance by the learners on the final day. The theme that underpins the intervention is that of “What Makes a Hero?” The foundation phase will be exploring the story of ‘Mandi and the Moonstones’ by Nicole Levin, a beautiful story of a young girl who solves the bickering in her village after the moon falls out of the sky. The intermediate phase learners will be exploring the first book in the Shadow Chasers series written by Bontle Senne, and made possible by Fundza and Cover2Cover Books. The Shadow Chaser series follows Nom and Zee as they discover that they are Shadow Chasers. The Army of Shadows have found their way from the dream world and into ours. It is up to Zee and Nom to defeat them.

Fundza will help read the book to the learners and will be donating copies of the book to the Capricorn School Library and the Vrygrond Community Library. This programme is made possible through the dedicated efforts of a team of over 20 volunteers, who give freely of their time and expertise to work with the children, supported by the Teacher Assistants of Capricorn Primary.

Integral to the festival is live performance with an emphasis on theatre. This year the festival has invited five external performances onto the programme. Jungle Theatre has been working with youth in Vrygrond, 18-25 years, to create a storytelling performance for children based on a traditional story. This performance named ’Stories op die Wind’ will be performed for the learners of Capricorn Primary School on Thursday, 30 November. On Friday, 01 December eMzantsi Bloka will lead the opening Vrygrond Family Festival parade to bring the community into the spirit of the festival with musical flair. Their unique goema-samba style was born at eMzantsi Carnival, the Carnival of the South, and has been a highlight of the parade for several years. The weekend sees performances by Baeletsi Tsatsi a gifted storyteller who brings to life ‘Kings, Queens and Chaos’. This production is a storytelling show that looks at the joys, laughter and chaos in some African kingdoms. The traditional African stories are told using physical and vocal gestures to elevate and honour the ancient art of oral tradition. The storyteller, the bare stage and the graceful gestures will take audiences on imaginative trips across the African continent, moving from Nigeria to Lesotho and every place in between. The show is suitable for 5+ years.

A festival highlight for the teens and young adults is the award-winning ‘The Champion’ written and performed by Khayeletu Anthony. Presented by Theatre4Change and the Makukhanye Art Room, ‘The Champion’ is coming fresh from its recent run at the Alexander Bar. Highly acclaimed, ‘The Champion’ is an award-winning production that tells the story of a young man who grapples with the legacy of an absent father and a mother who is a grass widow. Much of the play centres on the conflicts and contradictions inherent in and the insights delivered about his mother's life choices. This is a must-see production by a riveting performer.

The Mothertongue Project will also be performing a special production for very young children (2-7 years) on Sunday morning entitled ‘Fountain of Stones’, which was devised as part of the ongoing focus that Mothertongue Project is developing in work for early years.

Vrygrond is a community that has a growing interest in the performing arts. The weekend programme will also include performances by the VIPs, a drama programme initiated by ASSITEJ SA and currently facilitated by Pretty Sakeni. The Vrygrond Little Smiles is run by Nonkosi Fodo and concentrates on the development of children under the age of 13. They will be performing over the course of the weekend. Lesedi Arts Youth Group, a drama group founded by Pretty Sakeni and her brother Sibongiseni, will be performing their production’ Inyembezi Zam (My Tears)’. ‘Inyembezi Zam’ was developed by Lesedi Arts Youth Group through Magnet Theatre’s Culture Gang project. The programme also includes a movie night, and a fun day for children and parents.

The Vrygrond Family Festival is also proud to host the 2nd annual Afro-Soil Beauty Pageant. The pageant debuted on our platform last year and is the brainchild of Siphesihle Qwele and managed by Linamandla Deliwe of Vrygrond Young Minds. It is a community based project that aims to empower youth through modelling and active citizenry and promises a packed programme of entertainment and stylishness.

This year’s programme provides a rich platform for engagement for audiences and performers. We cannot wait to welcome you to another exhilarating Vrygrond Family Festival.

The Tickets are PAY AS YOU CAN to ensure the broadest possible engagement from the community. Place: Capricorn Primary School, Vrygrond Avenue, Vrygrond.


Friday, 01 December
13:00 – 15:00 – Vrygrond Parade (lead by Mzantsi Carnival)
15:00 – 16:30 – Dance session
16:30 – 17:30 – Dance competition
17:30 – 19:00 – Open mic/ Talent Show
19:00 – 20:30 – Movie on Communiversity lawns

Saturday, 02 December
09:00 – 09:30 – Three Golden Wooden Platters as told by the VIPs
09:30 – 10:45 – Nelson’s Funny Day
11:00 – 11:45 – King, Queens and Chaos – Performance for 5+ by Baeletsi Tsatsi
12:00 – 12:45 – Lunch
12:45 – 14:00 - Nelson’s Funny Day Cont.
14:00 – 15:00 – Vrygrond Little Smiles Performance
16:30 – 17:40 – The Champion - Performance for 14+ by Khayelethu Anthony of Makhukhanye Art Room
18:30 – 19:30 – Inyembezi Zam by Lesedi Arts Youth Group, followed by a discussion with both companies

Sunday, 03 December
11:00-12:00 – Fountain of Stones – Performance for 2-7 years by the Mothertongue Project
13:00 – 18:00 – Afro-Soil Pageant Account:
Yvette Hardie
ASSITEJ South Africa
021 822 0070/1/2
082 859 5635
ASSITEJ South Africa