HUMAN RIGHTS WEEK CELEBRATED IN THEATRE
By Bliss Ndapasowa
Durban University of Technology’s drama department in conjuction with the Art for Humanity and Development Programme has adopted an entertainment approach in celebration of Human Rights week.
Characterised by a production directed by Professor Brian Pearce, the theatre marathon was launched in Arthur Smith Hall at DUT city campus yesterday night.
Running with the theme of celebrating 20 years of democracy, the production will consist of apartheid struggle driven acts.
The opening was graced by an epic comic performance of the famous aparthied struggle play ‘The Island’. The play, originally written by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Tshona is an apartheid-era drama inspired by a true story. It focuses on two cellmates who reside in a prison at Robben Island and the activities they engage in during their time in captivity. Characterised by themes of RACHEL al segragation, brotherhood and freedom, the play was first performed in Cape Town in July 1973 and received a Tony Award nomination. It served as one of the measures of evading censorship of plays dealing with prison conditions during the apartheid era.
The play was performed by third year DUT drama students Simemezelo Xulu and Lungani Mabaso and expressed how honoured they were to portray such strong characters. They further mentioned that it was their contribution as the youth towards a struggle they did not live to fight.
Their call was however on student participation.
“Drama has become a powerful department here in KwaZulu-Natal and its going far,” said Xulu. He stated that such events bring exposure to them and is great for their careers. He further mentioned that the DUT drama department has seen the rise of successful actors and actresses in the industry namely Sdumo Mtshali and Xoli Zondi thus more need for support.
The launch was graced by the presence of university officials namely the Acting Dean of Faculty of Arts and Design Dr Renee Smith among others.
The production will run from the 17th to the 21st of March at city campus Arthur Smith hall from 18:00hrs to 19:30hrs. Admission fee is R15 and R35 for students and adults respectively.