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Aspiring musical theater writers will have the opportunity to present some of their original works at the inaugural “Cabaret and Beyond” (CAB) festival.
The event will take place at Seabrooke’s Theater starting Thursday, October 14.
Organized by Roland Perold, the CAB festival seeks to showcase excellence in writing new theatrical music while providing mentoring and development programs for future theater creators.
“Aside from a very small number of local musical theater success stories like ‘Sarafina’, ‘King Kong’, the musicals by David Kramer and the ‘Aunt Merle’ series by Marc Lottering; there is no development, training or mentorship available for musical theater writers in South Africa, ”explains Perold.
He adds: “It’s a parody because we have wonderful performers and directors, as well as a rich tapestry of sources, but no outlet that combines dramaturgy and music in a lasting way.
“The Cabaret and Beyond Festival is a response to that by bringing together aspiring and established writers to share knowledge and developing work to gain peer feedback leading to a live screening of these works. “
Led by Durban-based theater practitioner Steven Stead, who is no stranger to development projects, he is delighted with his supporting role.
“As a director, especially of musical theater, it is very rare to work on entirely new and original material. There is so much variety of styles in this program, such a range of expression. really fabulous music, ”Stead suggests.
Echoing Stead’s sentiments, Dr Ismail Mahomed, Director of the Center for the Creative Arts (CCA) at UKZN, said: “By adding this new festival to our already successful bouquet of festivals, we want to play a role in the revival of a cultural economy which has been seriously affected by national lockdowns.
“Musical theater straddles entertainment and social commentary. It can be both fun and relevant.
Participants come from all over the country, including Durban, Joburg, Cape Town and Gqeberha.
“A small group of talented artists – Amanda Kunene, Sam Landers, Lyle Buxton and Tshepo Ncokoane – work hard in rehearsals led by popular director Steven Stead and music director Wessel Odendaal.
“Each song is independent and tells a unique story from the perspective of authors who have written on many topics and themes. There are some really poignant moments and songs of novelty that burst out laughing, ”says Perold.
He adds, “Patrons will be treated to an intimate performance of witty and touching new songs by a collection of South Africa’s leading musical theater writers.
“With a brilliant cast that captures every nuance of these new works, the showcase will provide a much needed respite from the live performance deprivation we have all experienced over the past 18 months.
“From the material presented, a jury will also select two writers who have exceptional potential for the development of their works. These writers will then benefit from grants and assistance from the CCA, while being supervised by a professional playwright.
The lineup includes a wide range of musical performances merged with pieces of political satire and stand-alone comedy numbers, “a great collection that will leave audiences in awe and entertained.”
The “Cabaret and Beyond” festival takes place at Seabrooke’s Theater in Durban from Thursday October 15th to Sunday October 24th. Tickets are available on Webtickets for R 100 each.