Want to come up close and personal with directors of the calibre of Malcolm Purkey, James Ncgobo, Janice Honeyman, Geoffrey Hyland and Aubrey Sekhabi, and actors such as Dawid Minnaar, Diane Wilson and Faniswa Yisa? Then you cannot miss Directors and Directing hosted by the irrepressible Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA). A centre for innovation and creativity, GIPCA will host an event that promises to sweep away the curtains and bring you in touch with thoughts around directing by some of the nation’s leading theatrical and critical minds, in carefully staged conversations that will be intimate as they promise to be illuminating and insightful.

The rise and fall and rise of the Director is almost a theatrical cliché. While emerging democracies favour multiple voices as opposed to singular interpretations, directors have re-emerged as powerful indicators and cultural barometers. The combination of directing with dance theatre, opera, puppets and visual theatre all make for rich deliberations.

Featuring several performances in addition to the panels and talks, this groundbreaking event will take place at Hiddingh Campus, University of Cape Town (UCT), from 29 to 31 July 2011.

The programme begins with opening addresses by Aubrey Sekhabi (Artistic Director: State Theatre, Pretoria), Dr Gay Morris (Drama Department, UCT) and Malcolm Purkey (Artistic Director: Market Theatre, Johannesburg), followed by the premiere of House of Bernarda Alba (A Dance Document) – Geoffrey Hyland and Carolyn Holden’s dance theatre interpretation of the play by Federico Garcia Lorca. 

Panels include ‘The Director’s Signature’ with established directors such as Janice Honeyman, Aubrey Sekhabi, Clare Stopford, Mandla Mbothwe, James Ncgobo, Geoffrey Hyland and Liz Mills. Another, entitled ‘Views from the Trenches: Actors talk about Directors’ features a staged conversation hosted by critic Brent Meersman with Diane Wilson, Faniswa Yisa, Dawid Minnaar, Nicholas Ellenbogen and Chuma Sopotela. The third panel focuses on young directors and emerging visions, featuring Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winners Janni Younge and Neil Coppen, and Emerging Theatre Director Bursary Winners Amy Jephta, Asanda Phewa, Pusetso Thibedi and Leopold Senekal. Directors and Directing’s final panel on criticism and directing features Marianne Thamm, Zingi Mfeka, Zane Henry, Brent Meersman and Yazeed Kamaldien.

House of Bernarda Alba (A Dance Document) is not the only premier on the extensive programme; Directors and Directing will also host the opening performance of Misconception of Sanity, conceived and directed by Pusetso Thibedi. Other performances include Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind, directed by Luke Ellenbogen and featuring The Mechanicals (followed by a post show conversation about directors in repertory, with Christopher Weare and Luke Ellenbogen), Shakespeare’s R&J, an adaptation by Joe Calarco, directed by Fred Abrahamse, and Sample, conceived and directed by Sanjin Muftic.

Rounding up the list of performances will be an inventive exercise in determining the influence of directorial interpretation. Here, five directors (Fatima Dike, Aubrey Sekhabi, Sandra Temmingh, Jacqui Singer and Neil Coppen) will interpret and direct the same scene from Athol Fugard’s Boesman and Lena.

Tickets for this weekend long event are available through Computicket from 7 July and cost R120. This includes all talks and performances, the opening function, coffee and tea, a Sunday brunch and closing drinks. Single day tickets are R60. Student rates are R80 for the full conference. The full programme will be available from www.gipca.uct.ac.za from 6 July. For more information, contact the GIPCA office on 021 480 7156 or fin-gipca@uct.ac.za.

Directors and Directing – Full Programme available for download.

Directors and Directing audio recordings:

Keynote Addresses (Malcolm Purkey and Aubrey Sekhabi) audio recording

Panel 1 – The Director’s Signature audio recording

Panel 2 – Views from the Trenches audio recording

Panel 3 – Young Guns on the Horizon – Emerging Voices of Authority audio recording

Panel 4 – Critical Perspectives from Writers, Journalists and Reviewers audio recording

Closing Comments (Anton Krueger, Mwenya Kabwe and Jay Pather) audio recording

Directors and Directing video recordings:

Start: 29 Jul ’11

End: 31 Jul ’11

Cost: R50 - R120


Organizer: GIPCA

Email: fin-gipca@uct.ac.za

Venue: Hiddingh Hall 

Phone: +27 21 480 7156 

Address: Google Map 

UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31-37 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, Cape Town, Western Cape, 8001, South Africa