DISTANT FACES (info)


Familiar faces of the small screens make a delightful come back on the Stage…

BY NTSHIENG MOKGORO INSPIRED BY MIA COUTO’S ‘SLEEP WALKING LAND’

A heart breaking tale about a lad who sacrificed his wife, an unborn child to go to exile to fight for the freedom of his country only to come back 18 years later to a country that has forgotten him and many others. His reunion with his wife and daughter becomes a perfect example of a dysfunctional family from the effects of war! Riveting theatre piece that deals with the reality and dynamics of most freedom fighters and the families that are left behind to carry on in the hope of a beautiful ending…like any war there are always causalities and some unfortunately are the very same families, the show paints the struggle of a woman, a man and a child all trapped in post war effects. A “vivid, perceptive, and quiet gripping piece that will keep you clenched to your seat, as they struggle to find their way back to each other. A life of unfulfilled promises, shattered dreams and sacrifices. A wife whose heart is abandoned by love as she is forced to survive this life without her better half. A child’s frustration at the system and all it has forced her to endure as a result she is somewhat forced to raise herself, frozen in a battle between her parents. Robbed out of a normal childhood and stuck with in parents in denial due to social ills. Like her father she is on a quest to find emancipation for the people but she is determined to carve out a new path!

The cast boasts some of Mzansi’s international and seasoned actors namely, Mduduzi Mabaso, Harriet Manamela and Pretty Ncayiyane. 

MDUDUZI MABASO

Mduduzi Mabaso, two time SAFTA Award winner, attended the Canne Film festival last year representing South Africa, and has travelled the world with various stage productions in his early years in theatre. He is no stranger to the stage or theatre is a great thespian. He has been on films, short movies, such as “For Love & Broken Bones”, Machine Gun Preacher”, “Blood Diamonds”, “Hotel Rwuanda”, just to name a few. Other on screen credits are:, YizoYizo 1, Place called Home, Justice For All, Zone14, He too has had the privilege of travelling overseas and performing on many a stage.  His deep understanding for the craft and respect for his work, he is constantly perfecting and open to growth. He has an outstanding relationship with theatre drama and the arts. He has written a couple of his own scripts for theatre. He is currently on our screens on a popular local soapie called Rhythm City where he plays a character called “Suffocate”. We will see him in another locally produced film “State Enemy No: 1” sometime next year. Mduduzi has done a number of what we call or refer to as “Express Training” programs; quite frankly it seems like every project he touches he leaves tongues wagging.

HARRIET MANAMELA

An ardent thespian and theatre practitioner small screen ….Harriet’s love for performing on stage dates back to the mid-nineties, where she was part of the Squints Artist from Alexandra. She went on to study drama @ The Market Theater Laboratory for two years and has performed in, just to name a few, Gomorah, Koze Kuse bash , Veil of Tears, It’s for keeps, The Queen, Rivonia Trial, The Hill, Barney’s Women, Nothing but The Truth, Ways of dying.

Television credits includes, Isidingo, Yizoyizo2, Justice for 2&3 Behind the badge, When we were black, Sokhulu & partners, UGugu no Andile,Stokvel,Rhythm City, Scandal & currently in Skeem saam… Movies, Dr Lucille, Hotel Rwanda, Yesterday, Country of my skull, Catch a fire,  Vaya, Life Above All, Ortello Burning
She scooped three SAFTAS & was recently nominated for the AMVCA & the AMAA’s.
Besides performing she keeps busy by volunteering @ shelters and running drama workshops for schools.

Pretty Nozuko Ncayiyane

Fresh in the television industry but she is feisty and has a fire when it comes to theatre and stage. Her journey begun in 2006, founded and nurtured by Emuhle All Artists, South Coast based art organization. She developed her talent through self-taught, workshops and mentorships. Under the wing of her art organization she has been exposed to international theatre arenas – touring and performing in almost all prominent theatre festival – amongst many: Zwakala Theatre Festival, Zabalaza Theatre Festival, and National Arts Festival. As an actress she has performed a winning theatre piece: Talking Spirit – I shashalazi Women Festival – 2012. She has worked various projects and productions: Works with Twist Project – two years, CAF – Play House Company and Play House School Programme.

Table for two – national Arts Festival: 2011 / Anti-Christ – Baxter (Cape Town): 2012 / Anti-Christ: Market Theatre Lab (JHB): 2013 / Talking Spirits: Durban Play House: 2013 / Sugar Daddies: Play House – touring KZN / Sugary Spice: Stable Theatre and Olive Tree Theatre-2014. She was recently on Skeem Sam a local soapie on SABC1 but moved to greener pastures, she is currently on etv’s Scandal as Phindile Skhakane.

CREATED AND DIRECTED BY

NTSHIENG MOKGORO

Her reputation and resume speaks for itself, she worked in community theatre for many years, she first tasted the professional environment when, in 1997 she represented Africa in a project called “CHILDREN OF THE WORLD” which took place in Russia. She worked for the MARKET THEATRE LABORATORY from 1998 till 2014 as a field Worker on script development and Mentor Director.

Ntshieng mentored young directors for GOMACC and worked as a mentor for Windybrow Mentorship program for upcoming directors.

In 2009 she established Olive Tree Theatre Productions with an aim of empowering women and the youth in the art industry. Olive Tree Theatre Productions is dedicated to community development, especially women and youth using theatre as an instrument of change. She is also the founder of Olive Tree “Women’s Theatre Festival” that is running for its 6th year which focuses on providing a Platform, for Established and emerging female directors, including international acclaimed female writers and directors to showcase their work. Theatre is a feeling, theatre is art at its best… it far different from television – it requires one to be totally honest with oneself and immerse oneself into ones character in order to portray ones character truthfully. Once on stage there are no second takes or cut, repeat until we find the right angle! Hence it is always intriguing to witness our actors take a break from their daily television characters and delve into their stage characters… almost kicking themselves out of the box and into the unknown – sometimes leaving them vulnerable to their fans.

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