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.

Festival of Fame 2016 Production Synopses
Information on other productions will be available soon!

NSA Productions

Once on This Island - all ages - 90 minutes
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty
Presented in association with DALRO (Pty) Ltd.
Directed by Timothy le Roux

The enchanting Tony Award-winning musical fable 'Once on This Island' was first presented Off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizon as part of its 1989-1990 season. The show opened with rave reviews before moving to Broadway.

Echoing the themes of Romeo & Juliet and The Little Mermaid, this exuberant love story to a delightful Calypso beat tells of a group of Caribbean Island peasants waiting out the night of a terrible storm. A young child cries out in fear as the storm rages, and the peasants try to sooth and divert her by performing a fairy tale of star-crossed lovers and the power of love. By the end of the night, the storm has subsided, the peasants have survived, and the little girl has learned the meaning of the love.

Once On This Island explores the tradition of storytelling inherited from the islanders' ancestral African roots, passing down history, values and insight from one generation to the next. Inherent in this tale are the serious themes of class distinction and racial prejudice which plague our own society. Through music, song and dance, the musical explores universal issues which affect us all - love, anger, forgiveness, maturity, death and faith.

Dance Spectrum 2016 - all ages - 1 hour

The programme opens with the Romantic ballet The Pharaoh's Daughter danced to music by Cesare Pugni and with choreography after the great Petipa. "From our knowledge this is the first time that excerpts of this exotic ballet will be seen on stage in South Africa", said Manuel Norambuena HOD of Dance at the NSA. Keeping with the spirit of the exotic is Gillian Bonegio's Baile Gitano, (gypsy dancing) which tells the story of a group of tourists exploring the famous caves in Sacromonte, Granada, Spain, considered the birthplace of Flamenco; who, while exploring, encounter a group of gypsies dancing. Vanessa Lamb continues the Spanish theme in her Ballet Fiesta Español!

The specially commissioned Afro-fusion piece, aptly named Shall We Dance, is from award-winning dancer and choreographer Sonnyboy Motau from Moving Into Dance Mophatong.

The Dance Department proudly features work from learner choreographers. Olebogeng Khumalo's All the world is of Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust, Evelyn Mabikwa and Kamogelo Mofutsana's Altered Bones and Jana Rau and Kearabetswe Mogotsi's Transcendence, which showcases the Matric Class of 2016.

Sikorsky R-4 - all ages -40 minutes

Choreographed by: Bulelwa Ndaba & Thoriso Rorisang Raphela.
Created by the Cast.

The physical theatre piece documents the journey of 8 individuals who were exploring and uncovering the nature of the instinct of survival at its purest. They were, through their movements which varied from soft to hard, heavy to light and everything in between, taking us, along with themselves on the journeys that one's natural, raw and unadulterated instincts could lead them on.

Sikorsky R-4 deals with the breakdown of the mind and how, once all else fails, instinct will always be the only constant within the human being. It explores the potent disregard for the morals set by oneself and society which in turn leaves us questioning ourselves about our own moral standards and just how quickly we would be willing to sacrifice them if we needed our instincts to lead us to our survival.

The Visit 14+ - 60 minutes

By: Friedrich Dürrenmatt.
Directed by: Thoriso Rorisang Raphela.

Dürrenmatt's powerful, macabre tragi-comedy examines greed and the power of money in a small town. Claire Zachanassian, a glamorous, fabulously wealthy woman, returns to her impoverished hometown of Güllen after a long and mysterious absence. A renowned philanthropist, she is greeted with open arms by the Gülleners who hope that she will endow their and the town's much needed prosperity. However, we soon learn that she has come to Güllen for justice and revenge.

In The Visit we see "the play in the process of being performed, the characters in the process of being created". In the true style of Epic Theatre we arrive at a new interaction between the stage and the auditorium. This production of The Visit can best be described as "self-reflective theatre". It examines the nature of evil, and how the power of money subjugates modern society.

Art Department's Extraordinary Exhibition

Insane and Hysterical, the National School of the Arts does Roald Dahl's 'Revolting Rhymes'

Shadow puppetry, also known as shadow play, is an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment which uses flat articulated figures (shadow puppets) which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim. The cut-out shapes of the puppets sometimes include translucent color or other types of detailing. Various effects can be achieved by moving both the puppets and the light source. A talented puppeteer can make the figures appear to walk, dance, fight, nod and laugh.

Shadow play is popular in various cultures. Shadow puppetry is an old tradition and it has a long history in Southeast Asia; especially in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia. It is also considered as an ancient art in other parts of Asia such as in China, India and Nepal. It is also known in the West from Turkey, Greece to France. It is a popular form of entertainment for both children and adults in many countries around the world.

The NSA Art Department will take up the challenge - light, shadow and a huge dollop of humour will be brought together with Roald Dahl's insane version of the classic Cinderella story. The work will be mixed with a selection of music and the result will be Insane and Hysterical. Come and join us in the NSA Gallery and enjoy our version of Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes.

Rhythm, Rap 'n Rock - all ages - 1 hour

Daily lunch hour concerts featuring the cream of NSA's performing talents alongside professional award-winning professional performers such as Vincent Bones, Tholwane Mohale, Kay Mosiane, Candice Barnwell and Asanda Mquiki.

Weave Up Words - all ages - 40 minutes

A wild and diverse poetry programme led by two of the country's leading poets, Phillipa Ya Ya de Villiers and Napho Masheane, featuring their own poetry, a selection of set-work poems and poems from NSA's budding poets.

Meet the Stars - all ages - 30 minutes

Visitors will get to meet and have Q&A's with several top local celebrities including Maps Mopanyane, Desmond and the Tutus, Ross from Prime Circle, and Aenon Wolf.

Alumni Art Exhibition - all ages

A collection of artworks by some of NSA's former art learners.

NSA's Fabulous Film Fest - age 13+ - 1 hour

Screenings of a half an hour's worth of short films ranging from 1 minute to 20 minutes, followed by a critique from a number of industry professionals who specialise in writing, directing, camera work and lighting. These professionals will give a half an hour workshop on the does and don'ts of telling stories through film.

Vuka - all ages 08:00 - 09:45

Daily welcome show, featuring a line-up of diverse talents, hosted by Asanda Mqiki (hot off the press - Asanda's just been announced as the featured African artist at the featured African artist at the inaugural - low-fi indie net festival with a big heart) and featuring Tholwane Mohale (winner of SA's Got Talent 2014) and Johan Anker (currently in The Voice), with Festival house rules, theatre etiquette and a whole heap of entertainment.

Professional Productions
(proudly presented by ASSITEJ, the International Association of Theatre for Children & Young People)

After Dark in the Groot Marico - age 12+ - 1 hour

Adapted from stories by Herman Charles Bosman | Directed by Tara Notcutt | Performed by Andrew Laubscher & Sive Gubangxa | Presented by the Pink Couch

Welcome, weary traveller. Rest your feet from your long journey, and sit down on the stoep with Oom Schalk Lourens. Bask in the light of the full moon and let him tell you stories of love, music, and a little bit of magic. But beware, young traveller: all good stories have a dark side…

"After Dark in the Groot Marico" is the second chapter to the critically acclaimed and award-winning "Mafeking Road", which premiered at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, in 2011.

This year, Andrew and Tara bring you "After Dark in the Groot Marico" and have invited Fleur du Cap winner for Most Promising Student Sive Gubangxa along for the ride. Using physical theatre, and little else, Andrew and Sive will weave a world of wonder and magic, as they take you on a journey into the Marico's dark side…

Making Mandela - age 12+ - 70 minutes
Written by Nick Warren & Jenine Collocott
Directed & Designed by Jenine Collocott

An imaginative journey through the childhood of Nelson Mandela , featuring colourful characters, vividly portrayed in beautiful masks, with physical performances supported by emotive sound design and theatrical styling. This is the story of what influenced the rural boy to become the global legend.

1918 marks the birth of Rolihlahla Madiba Mandela as well as the Afrikaner Broedebond. Making Mandela tells the story of two opposing forces with different upbringings, natures, backgrounds and intentions developed in parallel and destined to one day confront each other in a battle for the ultimate freedom of South Africa for all South Africans. Every Prime Minister and State President in South Africa from 1948 to the end of Apartheid in 1994 was a member of the Afrikaner Broederbond

Last Cow Standing - age 9+ - 60 minutes
By Menzi Mkhwane

Last Cow Standing is an epic fantasy story about a young boy, Samira, who is chosen to save the dying cow herds of his people from perishing. The story tells of how the inhabitants of a people experiences the plight of their most valued resources - their hundreds of thousands strong herds of cows. A strange sickness mysteriously infected them killing countless amounts over the years; reducing them to a smaller number. The last few remaining are now surviving from perishing by the skin of their teeth. Last Cow Standing is played by Menzi Mkhwane son of celebrated South African theatre legend; Bheki Mkhwane. In this portrayal of "Last Cow Standing"; Menzi Mkhwane will play the central role of Samira and all the characters in the story in this riveting one-hander performance.

Sex and Me - age 15+ - 1 hour + workshop
By Clara Vaughan and Craig Morris

First kisses aren't always amazing. Sometimes they're just….wet. It doesn't feel like it looks in the movies. What are you supposed to do in a relationship anyway? What are you supposed to say? How do you know how far to go?

Takalani Sex and Me offers a glimpse into the lives of a group of high school students as they venture (or not) into the terrifying, glorious, and unpredictable world of sexual awakening. Offering no judgements, easy answers or simple endings, the play explores some of the experiences, influences, pressures and wonders of adolescence.


Pilgrims - age 12+ - 1 hour
Poets Zewande Bk. Bhengu, Thobani Mtambo and Tehmeba "NoLIFE" Ncube.

These award-winning 'spoken word poets' have made a great contributions to the city's poetry sphere. Recognised for their writing and performance abilities in various spaces including slam, corporate shows, open mic shows and others, this collaboration features old and new works that speak on a variety of relevant subjects stretching from feelings to politics.

Bucket List - age 8-13+ - 55 minutes
Directed by: Avril Cummins

Bucket List tells the story of a woman who learns how to live 13 days before she is due to die. On a whim one mundane evening, Eleonora decides to order a LifeTracker2000 - a futuristic device which will foretell how many days an individual has left to live. The diagnosis is a jarring one: 13 days. Eleonora starts to take stock of her drab, empty life, and decides that something needs to change.

What would you do if you only had 13 days left to live? The play incorporates suggestions from the audience through improvised action. Be inspired by Eleonora's journey as she faces her fears and confronts her dreams - and yours - head-on. This one-woman show features a range of original characters, brought together in a madcap search for what it means to truly live. Avril Cummins uses clowning, mime, physical theatre and symbolism to tell the stories closest to the audience's hearts.

Improvisation Workshop - all ages - 1 hour
By: Avril Cummins

"YES!" is at the heart of all good improvised theatre. It is also at the heart of a healthy and positive personal attitude, effective team-work skills and creative, critical thinking. The 1 hour Improvisation workshop fosters ensemble and team-work through collaborative games and exercises which promote fun, spontaneity and creativity. Developing confidence in improvisation also develops learners' self-esteem, as they learn to trust themselves and their ideas. This workshop will help learners to develop a more positive and proactive approach to school and life in general.

NSA Learner Productions

Silenced Cries - age 16+ - 30 minutes
Written and directed by Kayla Dunne

This is a play about abortion, the reasons for it and the consequences thereof. Elements of Greek style theatre and movement is used to portray the emotional effects of this much debated topic.

Sarah - age 16+ - 30 minutes
Written and Directed by Matlou Masemola

"Do not trust a woman, and keep away from a bad one".

"I'm not lesbian, I'm not bisexual, I'm not straight. I'm just curious".

This play is inspired by Paula Vogel, the author of "How I learnt to drive".

This epic performance style play tells the story of Sarah, who goes through an emotional flashback of her black and white childhood. This flashback happens in the present time while she is frustrated by the emotionally draining marriage she is trapped in with no way out.

The stage is set as a chess board, making the whole play seem as though it were a game of chess. The pawns on the chess piece will be the "monologist" speakers.

Torn - age 16+ - 30 minutes
Written and directed by Yaché Samuels

Torn is a play revolving around the themes of betrayal, abuse and slavery. Its main focus is on the lives and societies of three women, and how these women have been wronged. The play focuses on portraying wronged women not as victims but as strong survivors.

Tikkun Olam: Repair - all ages - 30 minutes
Witten and directed by Bongane Ngobese

Tikkun Olam is a beautiful physical theatre piece capturing the first interaction of humankind. "Tikkun Olam" is a Jewish concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world.

O' CIRCLE - age 15+ - 30 minutes
Written and directed by Thokozile Sithole

This play is a physical movement piece about the simple cycle of obsession and the things that make a person go to the extreme just to protect what they think belongs to them. It is the simple concept of jealousy and what it does to the human mind. This play challenges the human thought pattern to see if we can change this disorder. It is inspired by everyday stories that we hear on the news and everywhere around us, but they seem not to affect us although everyday people are being hurt... it explores the unspoken.

Music, Fashion & Multi-media productions:

JAM SESSION - all ages - 1 hour
Directed by: Spartz Motlhamme, Thando Phanyaphanya & Nombulelo Ngwane

This stunning music production features 6 sublimely talented music learners performing some of South Africa's and the world's most loved songs across different genres - gospel, African 'jam session', reggae, soul, 'old school' and 'Mpaliya Pop, with covers of songs from Simphiwe Dana, Lira, Brenda Fassie and Ayanda Mpama to Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Boys to Men, Justin Bieber and Selina Gomez. The performance is mainly a cappella (it'll blow you away). Accompanied for some numbers by a vibrant NSA band.

Live Arrangements - all ages - 1 hour
Directed by: Mphathi Mrubata

A fun-filled live music show that's jam-packed with different musical genres brings something for every music lover. The extremely gifted band members and vocalists voice their thoughts and emotions through music while jamming to their - and the audiences' - favourite tunes, from Drake to Jackson Five. Prepare to be gobsmacked.

King-ish ! - age 14+ - I hour
Directed by: Noko Ngwepe

King-ish!! You've all heard that saying - and yes, the 'dopest' show returns with a pumped-up catwalk, dance routines and choreography to die for. Not just a fashion show, we call it a 'Turn-Up' show - vibrant dancers, drop-dead gorgeous models and music that will keep you off your seat.

Elements of Artistry - all ages - 1 hour
Directed by: Luyanda Thabo Louis Nonkwelo

This classy music show, featuring classically trained musicians in break-out performances across a wide range of musical genres, illuminates the voice of the youth in a fresh, funky and original way.

Fashion Simplicity - all ages
Directed by: Tsogofatso Mpungose

Showcasing clothes, styles, singers and dancers all in one fabulous high-energy show.

XXC - all ages - 1 hour
Directed by: Courtney Thandiswa Mthetwa

XXC is a fashion show that focuses on the youth of today expressing themselves through fashion and art and changing the stereotype of models.

NSA's Fabulous Film Fest - age 13+ - 1 hour
Reilly Bennett

Screenings of a half hour of short films ranging, from 1 to 20 minutes, followed by a critique and workshop from a number of industry professionals who specialise in writing, directing, camera work, spelling out the does and don'ts of telling stories through film.



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