Kanya Viljoen

I graduated as a Theatre and Performance student, specializing in theatre-making, with a distinction from UCT in 2017. I have been privileged to work on many productions during the time of my studies, including performing in Francesco Nassimbeni’s All of It, Everything, Now, Together (2017), Nicholas Ellenbogen’s Murdering Agatha Christie (2016), Juliet Jenkin’s I Want to Live in Woolworths (2016) and Etienne van Heerden’s Lied van die Boeings (2015), a cabaret directed by Amy Jephta. Recently, I wrote and directed RAAK, which debuted at the Free State Arts Festival and was nominated as Best Production of the Vrynge Festival. Furthermore, it has been nominated for two Kyknet Fiëste Awards for Best Upcoming Artist.

I directed Like Hamlet, which was performed at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective this year as part of the Annex Theatre Bursary. My script, mank, was selected for further development at the Kunste Onbeperk’s Teksmark and I was awarded a writer’s bursary. Throughout the year, I have continued to work within the academy as a tutor and lecturer at UCT and the ACT Cape Town. Furthermore, I have acted and continue to act as a facilitator and developer for the Baxter’s Zabalaza Festival and Pollsmoor and NICRO’s Second Chance theatre programme. As a young theatre-maker, I am still exploring and questioning the notions around theatre and performance, specifically within contemporary South Africa. In the future, I hope to explore and push the boundaries of theatre, creating dialogues around language, ideology and identity within a multi-fragmented society.

Research summary

Die Skrif Is Aan Die Muur: Tragedy, Objects and the Performance of the White, Afrikaans Woman. The research explores the identity of the white, Afrikaner woman and the nostalgic, narrative objects that constitute her during performance-making and performance-practice, and how this in turn could be viewed as a continuation of tragedy and the tragic, as understood in both philosophical and theatrical terms.