The curtain rises on the NSA Festival of the Arts

The CoLab Network
03/01/2018 11:43:13

The NSA Festival of the Arts takes to the stages of the Joburg Theatre and the National School of the Arts from Tuesday 6 - Sunday 11 March 2018.

“The Festival of the Arts at NSA is a heart-warming reflection of the power of art to transform and shift boundaries. I am exceptionally proud of our NSA learners. The dedication, hard work and devotion to their craft is what makes NSA learners successful,” commented Mr Gary Natal, proud Principal of The National School of the Arts – South Africa’s Leading school of specialisation in Performing & Creative Arts.

Headlining the Festival is The Wiz. This heart-warming up-beat, family musical is a retelling of The Wizard of Oz set to a soulful, gospel R&B score. Audiences will leave The Joburg Theatre with a song in the heart rejoicing along with the four unlikely friends; Dorothy, the Tinman, the Scarecrow and the Lion who have found conviction and self-belief along the Yellow Brick Road.

The Wiz will be on the Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre from Friday 9 – Sunday 11 March.

The Drama Department presents an Afro-Punk Macbeth set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic South Africa. Directed by Laine Butler and Johan Anker and running at 90 minutes, Macbeth will transform The Fringe Theatre at The Joburg Theatre into a landscape of power struggles and corruption. It features the senior drama learners of the NSA.

Macbeth will be on the Fringe Theatre Stage at Joburg Theatre from 6 – 9 March.

Guided and mentored by Malcolm Purkey, one of South Africa's finest theatre-makers and crafters of South African stories, I Love Jozi explores the narratives of Joburg, both fictional and biographic. I Love Jozi opens an impactful window onto the city of golden opportunities from the perspective of the youth. Playing in The Fringe Theatre, I Love Jozi features the current Grade 10 drama learners of the NSA. This appealing work is vintage SA theatre-making in action.

I Love Jozi plays in The Fringe at Joburg Theatre from 7 – 9 March.

Dear Brain, the winner of the Original Works Festival 2017, will also be showcased during the Festival of the Arts. This thought-provoking imaginative work explores the complex workings of the brain. In a surreal landscape we witness a conversation between the teenager's mind and brain. Dear Brain features Mila Brkic and Danijela Cook who also wrote and directed the play.

Dear Brain plays in at Joburg Theatre from 7 – 10 March.

With support from the US Consulate in Johannesburg, the NSA Festival is proud to present special screenings of A Ballerina's Tale - The Incredible Rise of Misty Copeland. David Fear of the Rolling Stone Magazine wrote of the movie, "Inspirational doesn't begin to describe it." Misty Copeland defied all stereotypes and limiting perceptions to become the first African American prima ballerina in the American Ballet Theatre. Her journey well capsulated in one of her many motivational quotes, "You can start late, look different, be uncertain and still succeed," promises to resonate with young South African audiences.

There will be daily screenings of this film in The Mandela Theatre at Joburg Theatre from Wednesday 7 – Sunday 11 March

The NSA Hall will be a dedicated dance venue during the NSA Festival of the Arts. The school is delighted to host Moving Into Dance Mophatong (MID) during their 40th Anniversary year. MID will present Sunnyboy Motau's Man Longing which looks at the dark and sinister world of human trafficking. Man Longing will share the bill with Trafficked conceptualized and choreographed by NSA alumnus Yusuf Thomas for his final TUT choreographic project. With the support of the National Freedom Network, the Festival of the Arts will also exhibit A Reality Unseen, a story board curated by photojournalist Melanie Hamman-Doucakis to raise awareness about the realities of human trafficking.

Performances take place daily in the NSA Hall from 7 – 9 March.

The NSA Festival of the Arts is also proud to be a part of Dance Umbrella 30 Years On. Three NSA choreographers will have their work showcased during Dance Umbrella's New Dance Programme at Wits Theatre on Sunday, March 11. The Festival of the Arts will also host the new work titled Men by Fana Tshabalala and Vladimir Ippolitov at The Fringe on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 March. The Festivals run concurrently, and the NSA salutes Dance Umbrella on the occasion of their 30th Anniversary.

The Joburg Theatre Truck will provide a platform for the lunch-hour music concerts on the field. There will also be mime and clowning workshops, an improv and comedy showcase, as well as an art exhibition featuring NSA learners’ work.

The National School of the Arts partners with ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children & Young People) in curating and presenting the professional productions that are featured on the Festival of the Arts programme. The 2018 Festival includes Season of Simplicity, The Snow Goose, Tracks and Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny.

A Season of Simplicity features the inspiring work of Gladys Agulhas who has spent a career striving for inclusivity and the meaningful integration of dancers of varying ability into the mainstream world of dance and performing arts. "'Can't' is dead in my class! It's about 'what if?' Dance is the mirror reflecting that the impossible just might be possible," says Agulhas. In recognition of her achievements she received the Tunkie Award in 2011 and the Presidential Order of Ikhamanga in 2012.

“A Season of Simplicity; Same kind of difference, but still the same” runs in the NSA Hall from 7 – 10 March.

Paul Gallico's novella The Snow Goose has been adapted for the stage by James Cairns, Taryn Bennet and director Jenine Collocott and tells the story of a young girl Frith and a reclusive hunchback Philip Rhayader. Set against the backdrop of the second world war and the miracle of Dunkirk, The Snow Goose, is a moving story about bravery, love, courage, and friendship.

The Snow Goose runs in the NSA Drama Theatre from 7 – 10 March.

Tracks (excerpts), written and performed by Maude Sandham, is an autobiographical story that deals with the complexities of identity, race and the colour bar in Apartheid South Africa. This human-interest story "beautifully told holds the audience spellbound".

Tracks runs in at Joburg Theatre from 7 – 10 March.

Craig Morris plays the title role in the one-man epic poem - Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny. Written by Greig Coetzee using rhyming couplets, the play reflects a life that doesn’t rhyme anymore. Johnny is striving to fit in. He is on the road looking for love, redemption, an AK47 and the quickest way out of Secunda. “Thank you for including Johnny in this year’s inaugural programme as the new Festival of the Arts!” said Morris.

Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny runs from 7 – 10 March in the NSA Drama Theatre.

Formerly known as the Festival of Fame, The NSA Festival of the Arts is a highlight showcase event of the first quarter of the academic year and is made possible through a grant from the RMB Fund and the National Lotteries Commission.

A day at the festival will offer a unique experience of arts and culture, instilling and nurturing a love for all things creative; educating, entertaining and encouraging reflection.

Tickets from R80 for a full day pass to all shows (R70 for school block bookings) and R100 for evening and weekend shows at The Joburg Theatre. Book at or 0861 670 670.

NSA Festival of the Arts
6 – 11 March
Joburg Theatre Complex
National School of the Arts
Bookings through or Web Tickets or call 0861 670 670
For the full programme please visit

School Bookings
Charmaine Stander
011 339 6539 x 208/308
011 339 3941 (FAX)

The curtain is about to rise on The NSA Festival of the Arts from 6 - 11 March.

Social Media Information
Twitter Handle: @NSAART
Instagram: nsaartschool
Hashtags: #NSAFestival #NSATheWIZ #NSADrama

For more information on The National School of the Arts and NSA Festival of the Arts, log onto

Additional Notes to the Editor

The National School of the Arts – Realising Dreams through Excellence in Arts & Academics

The National School of the Arts (NSA), situated on the crest of the Braamfontein ridge, is South Africa’s leading arts school. It attracts creatively gifted learners from across the country and sub-continent, residing in the on-site hostel, to complete a full academic high school curriculum alongside specialised tuition in a choice of Art (visual, 3D and design), Dance (ballet, Spanish, contemporary and African), Drama and Music (classical and contemporary).

The NSA is classified as a School of Specialisation in Performing and Creative Arts and is acknowledged by the Education Department as a Centre of Academic Excellence. Creatively gifted learners need to pass an audition to gain admission to the school. The selection process is rigorous enabling the school to maintain high standards. The school consistently achieves a 100% pass rate. The class of 2017 achieved a 73% bachelor pass and 100 distinctions across the matric class earning the school the distinction of being the top performing Public school in the District. It is frequently listed as one of SA’s Top 25 Public Schools, is featured in the top 100 schools which includes all private schools and is also regarded as one of SA’s most innovative schools.

The NSA is proud of their distinguished Alumni who have gone on to excel not only in the arts and the creative industries but also in fields as diverse as medical science, environment, civil society and business: Charlize Theron, Marc Bouwer, Jeannie Dee, Kitty Phetla, Bianca le Grange, Vincent Bones, Dan Patlansky, Samson Diamond, Iain MacDonald, Sophia Welz, Bradley Shelver, Wesley Swain Lauder, Zoe Modiga, Robyn Sara Scott, Andrew Botha, Louis Viljoen, Shannon Glover, Meren Reddy, Zethu Dlomo, Ayanda Mdluli, Thandi Puren, Keke Chele, Tiffany Jones Barbuzano, Christopher Jaftha, Dale Newton, Karen Zoid, Laura Pauna, Dada Masila, Rui Alves, Thulu Sindi , Lorna Maseko, Helena Vogelzang, Kai Lossgott, Siphiwe Ngwenya, Frederico Freschi and many more.

The NSA is extremely proud to have played an important role in developing these individuals to reach their full potential. The NSA is a place where dreams and artistic aspirations are nurtured, and fledgling artists learn to fly.

For more media information, interview and image requests, please contact Collett Dawson on Account:
Collett Dawson
The CoLab Network
082 653 1338
National School of the Arts

Related Event:
The Festival of the Arts
Dates: Friday, 8th March 2019 - Sunday, 10th March 2019
Related Venues:
Joburg Theatre Complex, Loveday Street Braamfontein Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa
National School of the Arts, 17 Hoofd Street Braamfontein Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa