Festival of the Arts – the country’s leading Youth Arts Festival

Winner of the 2014 BASA (Business & Arts SA) - Increasing Access to the Arts Award for its corporate sponsor, RMB!

A fabulous 5-day celebration of all forms of the arts presented by the National School of the Arts in partnership with ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children & Young People) at the NSA and The Joburg Theatre complex. The diverse and dynamic programme of NSA & award-winning professional productions offers something for everyone from 8 - 80!

Annually more than 5 000 learners from across Gauteng (even from Cape Town and Zimbabwe) spend a day at the Festival, entranced by the magical productions and being inspired in their own creativity. Festival of the Arts adds a vibrant and memorable dimension to the high school Creative Arts curriculum.

For Gauteng arts lovers the Festival offers top quality productions at low ticket prices and an enchanting glimpse into the talents of the young people who will go on to become the future leaders and luminaries of the South African arts landscape.

Festival of the Arts is a feast of family-friendly entertainment.

Press Releases

Festival of Fame 2017 set to rock Johannesburg

The country’s leading annual youth arts festival, Festival of Fame, has announced a spectacular line-up of productions and events for its 5-day celebration of all forms of the arts, taking place at the Joburg Theatre and National School of the Arts in Braamfontein from 8 to 12 March, with something for everyone from 8 to 80!

Topping the billing is a real coup for South Africa and for the National School of the Arts (NSA): for the first time outside the US and UK, and by special permission from supergroup QUEEN, NSA has secured the rights to stage the QUEEN/Ben Elton School’s Edition of their smash hit musical which ran on London’s West End for 13 years, WE WILL ROCK YOU. This dynamic production, which features all Queen’s iconic hit songs, tells of a group of Bohemians who try to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion and music in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and acts the same and music is forbidden. Directed by Timothy le Roux, Joburg Theatre’s resident director and an NSA alumnus, and Tracey Human, winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year award, this vibrant production will enthral young and old alike and will leave the Joburg Theatre and its audiences rocking.

Dance-lovers will be treated to a spectacular kaleidoscope of ballet, Spanish, contemporary and Afro-fusion dance in Dance Spectrum, which features magical highlights from the ballet Sleeping Beauty, ‘The Journey of Life’ – a new Spanish piece from Gillian Bonegio set to a poem by renowned Spanish poet, Frederico Garcia Lorca, and two stunning new contemporary works choreographed by Jayd Swart and Phume Sikhakhane respectively alongside works choreographed by NSA’s rising dance stars.

Adding to the enchantment is ‘Star-Struck – A Disney Dream’, a delightful, satirical exploration of the universal Disney dreams about human hopes, dreams and desires. Featuring all the best-loved Disney songs, the kids will be singing along while the adults will relish the production’s wicked humour and satire – you’ll all leave the show firmly believing that ‘when you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you’.

Art and origami-lovers will be treated to a feast: ‘The Eagle has landed’ will see NSA’s inner quad transformed into a magical space of folded origami birds soaring through the space, perched on pillars and landing on every available space. Visitors will be encouraged to contribute their own origami creations to this giant art installation, stills of which will be captured at 10 minute intervals throughout the festival to create a stop-motion documentary which will be featured on YouTube.

For ME for You for NSA for ART and DESIGN for Joburg Forever! is an art exhibition curated by Eugene Hon, Director of UJ’s FADA Gallery, which will feature works from NSA learners and NSA alumni who are studying art at UJ, alongside works from internationally renowned artist and NSA artist-in-residence, Pat Mautloa. This will be in NSA’s Art Gallery in the historic Gerhard Moerdijk heritage building.

Festival of Fame also features a stellar line-up of award-winning professional productions, such as Matthew Ribnick and Geraldine Naidoo’s critically acclaimed and hysterically funny cross-cultural comedy of epic proportions, ‘HOOT’; Samson Malmbo and Menzi Mkhwane’s poignant ‘The Shoe Man’; Tristan Jacobs’ ‘Flatform’, a comical fast-paced physical theatre piece with tales from video game action to Jan van Riebeeck; ‘The Cloud Catcher’ by Richard Antrobus, a beautiful educational entertainment, whimsical fantasy story of a young Buhle with her head in the clouds; and ‘The Summoning of Everyman’, an accessible, riveting adaptation of the classical Everyman text recreated for young audiences, produced by ZikkaZimba productions.

Renowned poet, Richard ‘Quaz’ Roodt will host ‘Weave Up Words’, a poetry showcase including school set works and original works by NSA learners, and a Poetry Masterclass. The NSA Film Fest will feature the best of Wits University Film and AFDA student short films with Q&As with directors and lecturers, while visitors will also have the chance to meet a line-up of local celebrities and question them on life in the limelight. Daily lunch-hour concerts will feature several NSA alumni who have excelled in the arts, including the hugely popular Zoë Modiga.

Other NSA shows include Fire Raisers- Africa, a dark comedy set in present-day Johannesburg adapted from the Max Frisch play Die Brandstiffe; Amanyal’ Enyoka, a dramatization of the ZULU set work book; 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane; along with a host of vibrant original drama works, fashions shows, music events and multi-media shows, written, produced and directed by NSA learners and an inter-schools choral showcase.

The diverse, dynamic Festival of Fame programme, designed to entertain, educate and inspire Johannesburg’s young audiences and delight audiences whatever their age, is a real feast of family-friendly entertainment.

Festival of Fame, winner of the BASA (Business & Arts South Africa) award for ‘Increasing Access to the Arts’, is hosted by the National School of the Arts in partnership with ASSITEJ, the International Association of Theatre for Children & Young People.

Ticket prices are R90 for a full-day pass on weekdays and from R100 for productions at the Joburg Theatre – bookings at www.joburgtheatre.com. Schools block bookings are R70 a ticket, booked through pro@artschool.co.za or call 011 339 6539 x 208/308.

For more information, please contact:

Brenda Sakellarides
Chairperson: NSA School Governing Body
082 600 6739

Trish Downing
NSA Advancement Unit Director
083 252 6445

Or for ASSITEJ-related queries, please contact:

Yusrah Bardin
ASSITEJ Communications Manager
082 470 1441




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