Arts Education Project

Artscape presents

New Day

Lighting Design STAN KNIGHT
Costume and Set Design ANDREW BOTHA
Animation IAMINAWE

In support of the countrywide celebrations of South Africa's tenth year of freedom, Artscape commissioned a theatrical celebration, New Day, which premiered to popular critical acclaim in Cape Town in March 2004. Written by some of the country's leading contemporary writers, New Day is a joyous, sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous look at how far South Africa has come since 1994. Designed to showcase a variety of South African artforms, the performance is a multi-disciplinary celebration through drama, song, comedy and dance. With contributions by Fatima Dike, Fiona Coyne, Antjie Krog, Malika Ndlovu, Abduragman Adams, Nadia Davids and Greig Coetzee, the production highlights how "ordinary" South Africans have met the challenge of change to become "extraordinary" South Africans in navigating their new freedoms. Matthew Wild's colourful production weaves the work of the various writers together in stunning sets by Andrew Botha with cutting edge projected animation by design studio IAMINAWE. Lungile Jacobs and Andrew Michau are responsible for the music score, which ranges from the soulful jazz of the townships to the high energy of Bollywood.

MATTHEW WILD graduated from UCT with a BA and Performer's Diploma in Theatre in 2000. He wrote and directed the rent boy drama, More, in 2000 which was nominated for Vita Awards for Best Design and Best New Script. The following year he wrote and directed Sylvia the Librarian. 2001 also saw Matthew win a Fleur du Cap Award for Most Promising Student. Between 2001 and 2003 he served as Assistant Director for Cape Town Opera. Matthew's recent acting roles have been in Euripides' The Bacchae, King Lear and Cry, The Beloved Country.

Leading South African playwright, FATIMA DIKE began her career at the famous Space Theatre in Cape Town in the 1970s and later worked at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. She is a prolific dramatist whose work ranges from contemporary settings to historical African stories. She is also a distinguished theatre educator and was honoured in 2000 with the Medal of Excellence for contributions to the Theatre by the Cape 300 Foundation. Fatima is Joint Artistic Director of the Siyasanga Cape Town Theatre Company and a Board member of the Guga S'thebe Arts and Culture Centre in Langa.

ISANDULELA by Fatima Dike
Galeshewe, Northern Province, 1994. Darkness; a schoolgirl is pushing her elderly grandmother to a voting station in a wheelbarrow. The old woman's excitement at being able to vote for the first time is countered by sudden anxiety; as she makes her cross on the ballot paper, dawn breaks, and her grand-daughter sees a never-ending queue forming behind her - 'the whole world was there; white, black and coloured'.

EXTRA TIME by Fiona Coyne
Unitas Maternity Hospital, Pretoria 1995. Noreen Greenwood can't understand why Sister Rose won't let her be with her daughter-in-law for the birth of her first grandchild - or how her husband Robert can watch rugby with fellow grandfather-to-be Ronald Isaacs at a time like this, even if it is the World Cup Final! Babies being born? There's a nation being born!

TRC REPORTING by Nadia Davids
Pretoria, 1996. A journalist struggles to get her facts straight as she reports on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission amnesty hearing for the killers of ten township youths. She's looking for a heading which is sort of 'rainbow-ish' - but how does one reconcile dead children?

Robben Island, 1997. A wind-spirit crosses the waters to this haunted island. Marius van Heerden, ex-general section warden, and Elias Sibikwa, ex-political prisoner, have been invited back to Robben Island to describe their former lives to a visiting delegation. They reconstruct a past encounter and realise that the seeds of understanding were planted in their minds right here on this island.

COMING HOME by Abduragman Adams
District Six Museum, Cape Town, 1998. Tour-guide extraordinaire Achmat Solomons recognises a 'foreign' visitor to Cape Town's District Six Museum, who claims to have grown up near his childhood home in Astley Street. Can this really be Maud Damons, District Six's famous jazz diva who fled the country almost thirty years ago?

Durban, 1999. Luhle and her business partner Andre just can't work out how the flower arrangements and decorations should look for an English-Afrikaans-Hindu-Christian wedding - if only the New South Africa came with instructions! At least Andre has chosen the theme for his wedding to the cute Zulu personal trainer he always sees at the corner coffee shop - Afro-Bollywood!

Eastern Cape, 2000. The representative of a European funding body writes an e-mail home after visiting a rural hospital in the Eastern Cape. Doctor Kabir from Bangladesh has been alone there for seven years. He takes her to see the new wing which has been built to house all the AIDS patients - 'where death has a shape which has come to stay'.

Black Magic Cigar Bar, Sandton, 2001. John and Mandla celebrate closing a R50 million deal with good French champagne and Cuban cigars. They may be 'ex-communists' now, but then the old labels don't really count anymore - and at least an ex-communist is more likely to be a humane capitalist. Besides, Fidel Castro smoked cigars for years and he's still a communist!

HOUSING FOR ALL by Fatima Dike
Gugulethu, 2002. R8250 from the RDP is not a lot of money with which to build a house! The men of Patricia's Gugulethu community are ready to call in a building contractor and make do with a two-roomed house, but Patricia and the other women won't hear of it - if they have to they'll build the houses themselves!

South Africa, 2003. The younger members of the cast celebrate the youth of our country through an explosion of kwaito and hip-hop beats.

Today. The cast gather together to look to the road ahead: 'Our journey's not over. It's breaking now, a new day. Let's walk on towards the dawn.'