UCT graduate, Amy Jephta, is the first recipient of the recently created Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary, made possible by Theatre Arts Admin Collective (TAAC) in partnership with the Baxter Theatre Centre and Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA).
With this bursary she was able to produce and direct her original work Kitchen - originally presented during her final year at the University of Cape Town’s Drama School, and now extended to a 60-minute production. Kitchen will be performed at Theatre Arts Admin Collective from 18 to 22 May, at 8pm, with an additional performance on Saturday, 22 May, at 6pm.
“This unique bursary will enable three emerging theatre directors the opportunity to create new and original South African plays,” said Caroline Calburn, Director of TAAC. “It has been created in response to the lack of opportunities theatre director’s face, and to empower them while offering them an entry into professional theatre.” She continues, “One of the bursary’s aims is to affirm directing as a prospective career choice; creating a space for emerging directors to keep developing their craft through working with a mentor. The mentorship programme not only ensures that skills are continuously developed but connects emergent and established directors to each other ensuring a transfer and exchange of knowledge and skills.”
Amy Jephta completed a degree in Theatre and Performance and English, specialising in theatre-making, and received top honours when she was awarded UCT Drama Departmernt’s Theatre-maker of the year class medal in 2009. She has also received the Artscape High School Drama award for Best Script (A Class Apart), the Mary Livingstone Short Story award, the PANSA 48-hour Festival award for Best Script (Blackout) and the Woordwees Drukkoker award for Best short Afrikaans play (Die Besigheid). Amy has been commissioned by Aardklop for their 2010 programme to write a new Afrikaans play as yet untitled.
Jephta says, “I am extremely excited so I have decided to use this opportunity to return this work and examine it in further detail on a bigger scale. In attempting this project I would like to explore, firstly, my own directorial process from page to stage. It will be a great challenge for me to act as director for my own text, and to put myself in two minds during the process. I think it would be greatly beneficial for the development of my directorial voice to act in both the capacity of director and playwright. Secondly, I am excited to investigate and work with concepts which I have not yet had the opportunity of using in my process, especially Howard Barker’s theory on the Theatre of Catastrophe. I would like to use chance to delve into new experimental forms and content, and explore how multimedia in live theatre can be included as part of both process and performance.”
The script for Kitchen and some of the ideas for the full-length play has grown and developed in response to feedback received and boasts an entirely new cast made up of Leila Anderson, Sjaka Septembir and Cintaine Schutte.
Kitchen explores the ways in which silence manipulates, tortures and drives human beings to the brink and it is structured as a series of three short playlets each with their own title. “We say the most when we aren’t speaking. In the silences between words we are at our most vulnerable and we reveal our most naked selves. It is in the pauses where we really exist,” says Amy.
Kitchen runs at Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Observatory for one week only from 18 to 22 May and ticket prices are just R40 throughout. For bookings contact 021 447 3683 or firstname.lastname@example.org.