This year’s Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Theatre, Jade Bowers, is set to take the Prague by storm with her production Tin Bucket Drum and represent South African theatre on a world stage. The South African award-winning production is crowdfunding support to get to this year’s Prague Fringe Festival, where they are due to perform from 27 to 30 May 2016.
Neil Coppen’s Tin Bucket Drum is directed by Bowers and features Warona Seane and Matthew MacFarlane’s amazing original music. The production tells the tale of Nomvula, a spirited child born with a revolutionary heartbeat into a cruel and silent dictatorship. In its close and minutely explored world, Tin Bucket Drum takes a broad swipe at age-old global systems of restriction enforced for personal gain by those in power, and the way these restrictions affect the ordinary person. Above all, it looks optimistically at the power of creativity.
Reviewing the production for Cue newspaper, Kerstin Hall writes that MacFarlane, who accompanies Seane, is a vital part of the play. According to Hall, his music punctuates the drama, adding layers of meaning to the action. Commenting on Seane’s performance she writes on how she shines when representing the [childlike] energy of the little girl, but her talents are most apparent in her goosebump-inducing embodiment of Nandi, Nomvula’s mother.
Bowers is the 2014 recipient of the ImpACT Award for Theatre sponsored by the Distell Foundation and presented annually by the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT). Bowers was also named one of AfriPOPs Top Five Female Theatre Makers in South Africa, with two Naledi Awards nominations to her credit, and a 2014 Silver Ovation Award for What The Water Gave Me.
Seane, who is Artistic Manager of the Soweto Theatre, won a Fleur du Cap Award for the Best Performance in Theatre/Revue/Music for For Coloured/Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. She was also nominated for two Naledi Awards: a 2006 Best Actress for Nongogo and a 2008 Best Supporting Actress for The Lion and the Jewel. She has also starred in several TV series and will be directing a twenty-minute opera called Hani for Gauteng Opera’s Cula Mzansi season at The Soweto Theatre this August.
Fringe Festivals happen around the world and are an important way for artists to be seen by international audiences and producers showcasing amazing South African work on an international stage.
“Taking work to festivals in other countries is a rite of passage for our artists that cannot be underestimated. More than just a “fun trip”, taking part in international festivals gives our artists a broader platform for their work and imagination; opens opportunities for them to engage with their peers and get in touch with the work they’re doing and lets them re-imagine their own work and artistic approach in a new context. We’re so proud of this production and the team behind it, knowing that it will fly the South African flag high in Prague.” – Tony Lankester, CEO of the National Arts Festival.
Thundafund is South Africa’s leading online Crowdfunding Café and marketplace for creatives and innovators, allowing entrepreneurs a platform to raise capital and build a supportive crowd of backers for their respective projects & ideas. Bowers and her team are hoping that the transparent, exchange-driven nature of the platform will encourage those who are supportive of their cause: “We have already raised 10% of our dream goal and are very grateful to those who have kickstarted our drive, but with just over two weeks to go until our deadline, we’re appealing to those who have a passion for South African work, to help us get our show to Prague – in exchange for some really cool rewards, of course.”
To make a pledge and help get Tin Bucket Drum to Prague, visit the Thundafund website.