Actors up their skills


Members of Alex Youth Action Ensemble theatre group based at Thusong Youth Centre have gone back to study to up their skills and competency in the performing arts.

They are part of five groups, including others from Soweto, Ivory Park and Hillbrow, attending a three-year, applied performing arts and arts management training programme sponsored and facilitated by Wits’ Drama For Life Department and the Joburg Theatre.

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The ensemble is an established group, with some members having extensive performances under their belts and who have featured as far afield as Cape Town. They believe competency and perfection derive from ongoing education and skills development.

Group member Refiloe Pieterse said they showcased their practical assignment on creativity and marketing to facilitators and an audience through a play titled The Key. It portrays unsolved family secrets which almost tear siblings apart. It highlights the need for transparency and trust among those seeking peace in the home.

Pieterse thanked the sponsors for selecting the group. She said the ensemble’s visibility in the township and province, partnerships with other art forms, running skills development programmes in townships and not succumbing to any pitfalls, may be factors which caught the eye of their sponsors. “People want to associate with visionary and sustainable programmes like ours.

“Our group creates awareness on pressing social and economic challenges to attract intervention by authorities, such as teen pregnancy, crime and violence, unemployment, drugs and also love matters.

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“It’s important for artists to fill in gaps in their skills base through training initiatives in order to remain relevant in the competitive and entertaining sector.”

Nondumiso Sithole of Joburg Theatre said the participants will receive diplomas on successful completion of the course which covers creative writing and directing, performing and acting, business and administration, technical stage management, and lighting and design skills development. She commended the group and urged them to refine the play to make it more holistic by including positive aspects which may exist among the family members.

Details: Refiloe Pieterse 072 345 9975.

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