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.

NSA Productions

We Will Rock You
Running time: 90 minutes
Ages: All
A coup for the NSA, the QUEEN/Ben Elton School’s Edition of their smash-hit musical WE WILL ROCK YOU, that ran on London’s West End for 13 years, staged here for the first time outside the US and UK! This vibrant production is co-directed by Joburg Theatre’s resident director Timothy Le Roux (an NSA Alumnus) and Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year, Tracey Human. Featuring Queen’s iconic hit songs, the story tells of a group of Bohemians who struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion, and live music in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and acts the same. Musical instruments and composers are forbidden, and rock music is all but unknown. This production won’t only rock you, it’ll blow your socks off!! This truly is fantastic family entertainment.

Dance Spectrum 2017
Running time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Ages: All
A spectacular kaleidoscope of dance (ballet, Spanish, contemporary and Afro-fusion) staged by renowned dance teacher and director, Manuel Norambueono. This production will feature a short suite of magical highlights from Sleeping Beauty set to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent musical score; a new Spanish piece, Sorrow/Joy…The journey of Life, choreographed by Gillian Bonegio to a poem by renowned Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca; two stunning new contemporary works, one choreographed by Jayd Swart and the other by Phume Sikhakhane, and various other new choreographic works from NSA’s rising stars in dance.

Starstruck – a Disney Dream
Running time: 1 hour
Ages: All
In this delightful and satirical exploration of the universal Disney themes about human hopes, dreams, desires and aspirations, all the best-loved Disney songs from over the years ensure that audiences from 3 to 83 will be enchanted. The children will be singing along while the adults will relish the wicked sense of humour that weaves through the satirical verse that probes the Disney dream. You’ll leave the theatre firmly believing that ‘when you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you’.

Fire Raisers - Africa
Running time: 1 hour
Ages: 10+
Adapted & directed by Libé Ferreira
What if stranger walks into your home?
What if your conscience walks into your dreams?
What if your dreams become nightmares?
What if your nightmares walk into your reality?

Adapted from a play, Die Brandstiffe by Max Frisch, Fire Raisers – Africa takes us on a journey into the mind of Mr Mandla Dube who refuses to accept the evidence of the stark reality facing him.
Fire Raisers – Africa is a dark comedy set in present day Johannesburg.
t’s a comedy where laughter gets frozen… Where “a still, small voice says to us something is not in tune”. (C.G.Jung)

4.48 Psychosis
Running time: 1 hour
Ages: 16+ (strictly)
Written by: Sara Kane
Directed by: Thoriso Rorisang Raphela.
Choreographed by: Gabriel Mehlomakhulu.
By British playwright Sarah Kane, this play has no explicit characters or stage directions. The title derives from the time, 4:48 a.m., when Kane, in her depressed state, often woke. It deals with clinical depression, a disorder from which Kane suffered. She killed herself after writing the play, before its initial performance. Rather than claiming that it tries to cover depression as a whole, it might be fairer to say that it is a very subjective presentation of depression, giving the audience an insight into one particular case (or perhaps providing specifics on several individual cases). Contemplation and discussion of suicide are prominent and while there is no strict narrative or timeline, certain issues and events are clearly dealt with: deciding whether to take medication to treat depression, the desires of the depressed mind, the effects and effectiveness of medication, self-harm, suicide and the possible causes of depression. Other themes that run throughout the script, in addition to depression, are those of isolation, dependency, relationships, and love.

The Eagle has landed
Art installation/space transformation
At 4.18 p.m. on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstong’s voice crackled from the speakers at NASA’s Mission Control in Houston. He said simply, “the Eagle has landed.” With these words, the dream of putting humans on the moon had at last come true tr The NSA inner quad will be transformed into a magical space of folded paper birds soaring through the space, perched on pillars and landing on every available surface. Visitors will earn entrance into the space or passage through the quad by contributing a folded origami bird to the giant installation. Tables along the sides of the space will be ‘manned’ by a rotation of art learners who will teach the visitors the skill of origami folding. The pieces produced in this way will be contributed to the space. The result will be an installation, produced not only by the art department but by the whole body of visitors to Festival of Fame 2017 i.e. a statement created by those interested in the arts.

The progress of the work will be photographed by a camera mounted upstairs. Stills will be captured at 10 minute intervals. The body of stills will then be edited together to create a stop motion documentary of the process which would be posted on YouTube.

For ME for You for NSA for ART and DESIGN for Joburg Forever!
Ages: All
Art Exhibition curated by Eugene Hon, Director of the FADA Gallery: University of Johannesburg Featuring works by UJ Graduate students and NSA learners
Known as the incubator for future artists, NSA learners go on to achieve great heights in the visual arts and design arenas. In this exhibition, Eugene Hon brings together extraordinary works from NSA’s current and past learners who are enrolled in the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Architecture, Design (Digital, fashion, Product, Jewellery and Graphic Design) and Art. The Executive Dean of the Faculty, Professor Frederico Freschi, is himself an NSA Alumnus.

Eugene Hon is a ceramic artist with a passion for drawing. His ceramic statements are a creative response to the literary sources he chooses to read. “I am an artist,” he says, “that celebrates the handmade, with strong concept and meaning that straddles the disciplines of ceramics, sculpture, drawing, artist’s books, digital printing, animation, video and digital projection, installation and ultimately design.”

Also featuring works by highly-regarded artist, Pat Mautloa, this exhibition is sure to inspire emerging and established artists alike.

Running time: 1 hour
Ages: all
Daily morning welcome show featuring Larry Rose of the band Cinema and his amazing, surprising drummers.

Rhythm, Rap ‘n Rock
Running time: 1 hour
Ages: all
Daily lunch-hour concerts featuring well known NSA alumni musical stars including Zoë Modiga (runner up: The Voice 2016).

Meet the Stars
Running time: 1 hour
Ages: all
Q & As with well-known celebrities – on the challenges of careers in the arts and lie in the limelight.

Choral Showcase
Running time: 90 minutes
Ages: all
NSA’s choir performs with choirs from other schools.

Professional productions

Running time: 60 mins
Age: 12+
Written by: Geraldine Naidoo
Performed by: Matthew Ribnick
This multi-award winning play tells the hysterical and colourful journey of a rich white man who loses everything and ends up becoming a minibus taxi driver. It is a cross-cultural comedy of epic proportions, focusing on a desperate man in an unfamiliar world. Through snappy dialogue, split-second character changes and strong physical acting as well as a number of other skills, Ribnick brings a cast of over twenty hilarious and familiar local characters to life. Critics’ reviews of HOOT say it all! "Don't miss this outstanding show!" (Billy Suter, the Mercury); "one of the greatest theatrical pleasures of the last few years … nothing short of astonishing" (Peter Tromp, Cape times); "With Hoot, Matthew Ribnick has achieved something quite astounding … Seldom do intelligence, emotional truth and pure entertainment intersect with such precision and so little pretension." (Peter Machen, Weekend Witness); "Ribnick is a sterling storyteller, working with a well-researched script. He changes accents and characters quicker than fast food is gobbled, and his take on post-democratic South Africa is spot-on" (Yazeed Kamaldien, Cape Argus); "Quite simply, in its conception, writing, direction and performance, Hoot is a glorious defining moment in post-democratic South African theatre." (Adrienne Sichel, The Star); "Storytelling at its finest" (Sergio Ben, Cape Argus); "HOOT is an absolute hoot!" (Rafiek Mammon, Cape Times).

NSA Film Fest
Running Time: 1 hour
Age 13+
A showcase of the best student short films from Wits University Film School and AFDA (African Film & Dramatic Arts Academy) followed by Q&As with the directors and lecturers. Find out about te South Africa’s dynamic and thriving film & TV industry.

Weave Up Words
Running Time: 1 hour
Age 14+
A theatrical poetry production by renowned poet Richard Quaz Roodt that seeks to rethink and re-imagine the way poetry is presented to audiences. The production is based on set works from the curriculum as well as poetry and prose written by NSA learners. Quaz has performed his poetry at various international festivals, has appeared in numerous documentaries and short films and frequently hosts literary and sexual health talks with prisoners and youth who are involved in outreach programs. His knowledge, talent for spoken word will serve as a source of inspiration to audiences.

Poetry Masterclass
Running Time: 1 hour
Age 13 - 18
The poetry masterclass presented by award-winning poet, Quaz, will take students through a one-hour poetry writing course. The workshop will introduce students to different techniques and exercises to create and write poems and prose.

Professional productions kindly supported by ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children & Young People)

The Shoe Man(*)
Running time: 35 minutes
Age: 10+
Written & directed by: Samson M Mlambo
Actor: Menzi Mkhwane
This poignant drama production, specifically crafted for scholars to demonstrate the importance of persevering in education, takes us through the journey of a young man, known for his shiny shoes, who goes to live with an uncle to be closer to a multi-racial school and who is determined to beat the odds stacked against him. Its simple storyline, which highlights the fun side of school and the memories that are created there, will leave the audience ‘dazzled with satisfaction and appreciation’.

Running Time 45min
Age: 14+
Directed by Tristan Jacobs
Devised by The Cast
Performed by Tyson Ngubeni, Kirsten Stewart, Star Tlali, Nicole Anthony & Sabelo Ndumo Introducing platform performance - where 6 physical theatre actors transform a tiny, bare space into myriad stories and journeys. Comical, fast paced and deftly executed. Masidlale presents a show containing 3 tales, from video game action to Jan van Riebeeck and a look into Falling.

The Cloud Catcher (“Die Wolkwagter”)
Running time: 40 minutes
Age: from 6 years, suitable for the whole family
Written, Directed & Narrated by Richard Antrobus This enchanting story follows the adventures of Buhle, a young girl with her head in the clouds from Langa Township in Cape Town. Shy, timid but adventurous and wild, this daydreamer decides to end the drought once and for all - and invents a marvellous machine to do just that! Her journey takes her across the African continent in search of rain clouds. This solo adventure fuses physical theatre with real-life ‘documentary’ style video footage, a simple yet creative set and a good dose of imagination. A clever blend of educational entertainment and whimsical fantasy with a strong message of hope, resilience and empowerment.

The Summoning of Everyman
Running time: 60 minutes
Age: 16+
Co-Directed by Billy Langa and Mahlatsi Mokgonyana | Performed by Khanyisile Ngwabe, Ratanang Mogotsi and Nomathamsanqa Mhlakaza | Produced by ZikkaZimba Productions The dynamic theatre-making duo is back with another accessible adaptation of a well-known classical text (The Summoning of Everyman) recreated for young audiences and performed by an all-female cast.  The Summoning of Everyman uses allegorical characters to examine the question of Christian salvation and what Man must do to attain it. The premise is that the good and evil deeds of one's life will be tallied by God after death, as in a ledger book. The play is the allegorical accounting of the life of Everyman, who represents all mankind. In the course of the action, Everyman tries to convince other characters to accompany him in the hope of improving his account. All the characters are also allegorical, each personifying an abstract idea such as Fellowship, (material) Goods, and Knowledge.

NSA Learner productions: Drama

Amanyala ‘Enyoka
Running time: 1 hour
Language: Zulu
Age: 14+ (strictly)
Directed by Nokusa Zikalala & Iza SitholeM
Amanya’ Enyoka (something thought to be impossible) is a dramatization of the Zulu literature set work by MM Ndlovu that educates audiences on same sex marriages amongst women and the trauma they face in their society on a daily basis. Police brutality, rape and discrimination are some of the factors they endure. We get to understand some of the reasons leading to the decision of a same sex relationship through the eyes of the 2 female protagonists. Both protagonists are imperfect, thus both loves are imperfect, neither one is greater than the other and in extension neither sex, sexuality nor love is any different than any other in any context.

Blank Canvas
Running time: 30 minutes
Age: All
Written & Directed by Iza Sithole
Everyone is born a blank canvas, totally innocent, pure and transparent. As soon as they come to this world, meet new people, they are now imprinted. The protagonists in this play are imprinted with pain and trauma and they seek help not realising that the person they are relying on is the same person who causes their pain. They are left empty, with no substance which leaves them imposed and vulnerable.

The Interrogation
Running time: 30 minutes
Age: 14+
Written & Directed by: Uviwe Metsatywa
A production filled with suspense and intellectual engagement. This show follows three criminals and three detectives during an interrogation process. Once the interrogation begins nothing goes as planned. How does one cope with their own thoughts when isolated? The play explores the contrast between the three crimes and focuses on the intensity of the dialogue shared between these individuals. There is a vast emphasis on the use of language, an underestimated and usually taken for granted method of communication. Sometimes we don’t ask the right questions; sometimes we don’t have all the answers, thus the outcome from these interrogations might not be what we expected.

Running time: 30 minutes
Age: tbc
Written and Directed by: Sabastian Tavares & Sandisile Magasela
When a Queen is dethroned, her world comes crumbling down and her secrets are revealed. She is forced to live like a peasant in her own home and can no longer cage all her secrets and betrayals. Be prepared to be thoroughly impressed by stellar performances.

Fees Must Fall
Running time: 30 minutes
Written & Directed by Lesego Ramakopeloa
Fees must fall is a dramatization of the famous student led protest movement that began in mid October 2015 in response to an increase in fees at South African universities. Students with hopes and dreams for a better future are challenged by a fee increase that could have a great impact in their lives. The question is; how far are they willing to go to get what they want? And will they succeed?

Running time: 30 minutes
Written by Naleli Seseli & Directed by Nokuthula Sibisi
When a young girl loses her mother, her true sense of self is discovered. She goes on a journey of introspection and her discoveries make her a stronger person than she already is. She questions the concept of Happiness...Does one really need happiness for one to be happy? Or is Happiness not what it really is?

NSA Learner productions: Music

Soul Unplugged
Running time: 30 minutes
Age: 16+
Arranged and Directed by the cast
Black consciousness is the central theme and source of inspiration for these musical muses. An all girl singing group who promise to take you on a journey with songs that tell a different story in different shades of brown. Performing songs from award winning Nina Simon, Asa, Lauryn Hill and our own South African songstress Berita, these ladies are putting their best foot forward to vocally impress.

Souled Out
Running time: 30 minutes
Arranged and Directed by Naleli Seseli & Ridwaan Duze
Souled out showcases vibrant, unique and experimental vocal aesthetics with impressive routines and clothes that make the show different from any other music show you’ve ever seen. Neo – soul and electronic Rnb jams; covered and rearranged as well as self composed by the cast will keep your head bumping and fingers clicking. With songs from soul artist Solange, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, this production will leave you Souled Out.

Unies dans le Musique
Running time: 30 minutes
Directed by Reoagile Chaoabi
Inspired by music moguls Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott and mentored by gospel singing sensation and producer Nqobeki Mbatha; this all female band is all about feminism and empowering through music. Re-appropriating songs from award winning acapella group The Soil, Queen of House music Busiswa ,these young girls are sure to deliver a spectacular range of soulful and spiritual music that inspires you as well as showcases their undeniable singing talents.

NSA Learner productions: Physical theatre/Dance

Running time: 30 minutes
Age: 13+
Written and Directed by Loxley Green & Kgothatso Munzere
Based on the biblical 7 deadly sins, this play aims to make a strong and moral statement. Each cast member is represented as one of the deadly sins; Pride, Sloth, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath and as the seeds in the apple that Adam and Eve took a bite of. They ask a vital question; what would the world be like had Adam and Eve not been curious? They also represent what the world looks like today because of this occurrence and the 7 sins that each individual commits daily.

Running time: 30 minutes
Workshopped by the cast & Directed by Caitlin Van Lendt
This piece surrounds the concept of bisexuality. The protagonist represents the bisexual community. Often bisexuals are frowned upon and misunderstood. This piece is an extension of that fact. It explores the trials and tribulations as well as inhibitions of bisexuals in the 20th century through the eyes of the main protagonist. She goes through a series of challenges throughout her life, however, the time period does not allow her to be true to herself. This internal struggle is created physically in the space and is manifested to represent societal norms of gender relationships and the protagonists’ discontent for societal expectations.

NSA Learner productions: Fashion

Running time: 30 minutes
Age: All
Directed by Leshae Williams & Nhlakanipho Mkongi
Sluurp is a lifestyle brand dedicated to inspire and encourage the youth to achieve what they aspire to become. Sluurp is build around the embracing of sports and lifestyle activities, fuelled by current trends such as health and fitness, social events and individualism. It focuses its products and services offering in three different categories; clothing, music and social events. The slogan "Keep GrindN" helps encourage our consumers to work better, look better and feel better, as well as creating history. Sluurp does not only make fashion statements and sets trends, but believes it can create a culture and community that is success driven; which can progressively change the world and encourage a positive mindset.

Running time: 30 minutes
Created & Directed by Tshegofatso Mpungose, Courtney Mthetwa & Samkelisiwe Tshetsha
Oblivion showcases NSA learner’s eyes for detail, precision, and passion for fashion. It aims to inspire learners who have a passion and a desire for design. It showcases up and coming NSA designers as well as models. The garments are flawless, modern and fashion forward.

Running time: 30 minutes
Directed by Bonhle Sekatane
“Street wear” is what drives this fashion show. Showcasing a wide variety of casual wear in nudes, burgundy, grey, black and white. The garments are modern, fresh and are for all body types and skin tones. From denim jackets to boyfriend jeans, these clothes will surely inspire you to add on to your collection.

NSA Learner productions: Multi-disciplinary

Running time: 30 minutes
Age: All
Directed by Naledi Moleko
Hip-hop themed, Battlestage is a funky multi-disciplinary act that encompasses poetry, movement, dance battles, fashion, singing & rap. These individuals in each category battle through something in their own lives and express it through their talent. The winner of Battlestage will solely be judged by the audience’s applause.

Running time: 30 minutes
Created & Directed by Kamogelo Mangoeng
This fashion show brings life to the 1980’s and 1990’s. It recaptures these decades through song, dance and fashion. Look forward to singing along to Mafikizolo, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston amongst others. Be prepared to be subdued in colour, lots of browns, tans and oranges, high-waist pants and skirts, brightly coloured accessories, teased hair, loud make-up and neons which were all important components of these time periods.



Copyright © 2018 The National School of the Arts. All Rights Reserved.