Memories and Empty Spaces: A play about identity crisis

Stageplay writer and director Ntshieng Mokgoro and Actor Mpho Molepo. Photo: Thabang Kuaho.

 

Alexandra’s own Olive Tree Theatre came alive from 25 August to 10 September when it showed Memories and Empty Spaces, a play written and produced by Ntshieng Mokgoro.

The play follows the life of Pulane, a beautiful young woman who grew up in rural South Africa. She does not know much about her culture and does not care. Her mother insists that she get a good education and sends her to boarding school where she adopts the city’s lifestyle.

Pulane also changes her name to Sarah because she does not want her white friends to laugh at her ‘Bantu’ name.

“Through all of this, she does not have a sense of belonging as she is constantly teased by the people of her village,” said Mokgoro. She said that many people can relate to this story, as society has often judged them by their lifestyles.

“As a storyteller, I believe in telling our own stories. This was one that I could not let go.” Mokgoro said the play has been well received, and she plans to put it on again.

“The storyline does not only [resonate with] people from villages – everyone can relate to it.”

Ntsika Ngxanga of The Soil composed the music. “I feel the music is only there to highlight the intense elements of the script,” he said.

Ngxanga said from the time he started reading the script he already had music in mind. “The script is so well written that it made it easy for me to write the music.”

The cast includes Segametsi Baobepi, Bonnie Zulu and Fana Ngxanga, and was choreographed by Phuti Mojela.

Olive Tree Theatre is run by Mokgoro and showcases plays on a regular basis.

Details: Ntshieng Mokgoro 011 048 6158.

Read: Olive Tree Theatre in Alexandra pushes the boundaries of age

  AUTHOR
Thabang Kuaho
Journalist

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