Hot nights and fiery entertainment in store at 2018 Kopanong Student Arts Festival

Posted on October 16, 2018

With more than 40 productions on offer this year, ranging from physical theatre and comedy to drama and musical theatre, audiences will be able to enjoy new, original works by up-and-coming writers, directors and performers at the UP Drama Department’s annual Kopanong Student Arts Festival, under way until Saturday 20 October at theatres on the University of Pretoria’s Hatfield Campus. And at just R35 per ticket, this is your invitation to an affordable, entertaining – and likely thought-provoking – outing. 

This year’s line-up includes productions by students from UP, Oakfields, TUT and UCKR, as well as independent young artists. The festival will also welcome the Kopanong Artist Hub. The Artist Hub will host a networking platform for artists, an art exhibition, industry talks about management of the arts and artists, publishing, independent theatre-making, and live music sessions.

According to festival co-supervisor Prof Marié-Heleen Coetzee, the Kopanong Student Arts Festival aims to “encourage the creation of original work in any language and genre. It offers a space for students and young artists to give free rein to their imaginations, interrogate issues relevant to their lives and create modes of performance that support their creative signatures. The festival also provides students and young artists with an opportunity to showcase their talents with a view to promoting integration with real-time, real-life entrepreneurial activities, and to facilitate the switch to an economically active professional environment.”  

Festival Managers Ms La-Portia N Khoza and Mr Westley Smith regard the Kopanong Student Arts Festival as “a wonderful platform for artists to engage with audiences and other artists – a space of learning and unity through art, where we can grow as artists and creators. It’s a platform that starts conversations, brings content that triggers your mind-set, and shows that resonate with the voices of today and are therefore relevant to contemporary South African audiences. The festival provides an exciting platform for young voices to rise up and echo throughout South Africa”. UP drama students are involved in all aspects of the festival, from management to technical support.

Performers and theatre-makers including Pearl Monama, Zenande Mfenyana, Donnalee Roberts, Noxolo Dlamini, Erik Harm Holm, Mdu Nhlapo, Nico Scheepers, Gopala Davies, Mila Guy, Masego Mothibakgomo, Wessel Pretorius, Neo Motaung, Tarryn Louch, Mona Monyane, Werner Coetzer and many more have participated in the festival during their student years at UP Drama. 

Students also get the chance to rub shoulders with professional artists. Choreographer and performer Mdu Nhlapo’s celebrated production Kiu, which was included in the NAF’s main programme earlier this year, will be presented at the festival as the alumni contribution for 2018. Performer and playwright Phillip Dikotla will present Stagetime, a stand-up comedy act, and Kiri Pink Knob will present J Bhoboza – A Hip-Hop Musical Extravaganza as the professional contributions to the festival.

Photo credit:  Marie-Heleen Coetzee

Matchbox Theatre, Market Theatre CEO Mr Ismail Mahomed, Geronimo Productions, Liquid Fusion Productions and Ms Dada Masilo will sponsor prizes for selected participants, and Dr Mike van Graan will act as a short-term mentor for the winning aspiring playwright. 

The festival promises to entertain both young and young-at-heart audiences, and at only R35 per ticket per show, you can afford to be there! 

Festival information and programme:


- Author Drama Department

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