January 2013

2013 has started with a bang and two awards for Twist members!

Musho! Festival
The Twist groups performed their new productions at the Musho! International Theatre Festival at the Catalina Theatre in Durban on 19 February. The shows were well received by a large audience, and a number of people commented on their high standard.

Siphesihle Cele from Emuhle All Artists was awarded the Judge’s Award for Outstanding Performer on the Fringe, being selected from a strong group of 11 performers. We are very proud of him!

The Twist groups thoroughly enjoyed the festival, watching a host of other shows from Durban and elsewhere, and commenting that the wide variety of productions had opened their eye to new styles of work that they had not previously seen.

An ex-Twist group, Umsindo Productions, had received a place on the Main Stage of the Festival, and Siso and Goso Shabalala impressed with “Brothers”, their story of twins who struggle to get along, and one who makes the ultimate sacrifice.
Puppet Workshop
The Twist groups attended a workshop on puppetry by performer Neiek Lombard. The workshop explored the creation of paper puppets and found objects, and inspired the groups to look around them and “make something out of nothing”. Groups mentioned that it had been a great experience, and that “understanding bringing life to a puppet is amazing and interesting … from the basics to the highest level of enrichment, we learnt a lot of new things”.

As well as the performance award won by Siphesihle Cele; Twist manager Emma Durden was awarded the Monica Fairall Memorial Award for service to the theatre community at the Mercury Durban Theatre Awards in December, 2012. This was in recognition of her work in theatre development and for bringing together community and professional theatre.

Welcome to Roel Twijnstra
The Twist co-founder and director, Roel Twijnstra, has come to live in South Africa and work closely with the project for the next 2 years. We are delighted to have him here and are sure that the community groups and the professional theatre makers that we work with will benefit from his experience and expertise.

Upcoming Projects
Emuhle All Artists and Siyakha Performing Artists will be graduating from the Twist programme in March. In preparation for this, they will be visited by Xolani Dlongolo and Roel Twijnstra, to assist with their forward planning. As they leave the programme, one member commented “Thanks to the Twist members and funders, it has been a very fruitful journey, taking us to a more professional level.”

Funding News
The Twist office is focussing on fundraising efforts in an attempt to secure funding for the new project cycle and the recruitment of new groups for March 2013.