Archive for the ‘Wings’ Category

‘OfficeBLOCK’ ends tomorrow night where we will have a braai afterwards, small and cosy and keeping us down-to-earth with the people who love and support us the most, before we take the piece off to America, to share and build it with the amazing people at Wings Theatre of Quest Visual Theatre.

So far the response has been great. Here are two reviews, by Rory Berry and Mariana Malan and if you’re not so clued up on Afrikaans, the Google Translate application gives you the jist of what Die Burger is getting at.

AnaEven though our beloved Tink couldn’t make it, she sent her words with Ana and filled the air with her spirit.

As a draft for the final piece that will be made for QuestFest (US) and National Arts Fest (SA) 2012 the piece is showing a strong foundation. For this very short run, we’ve opened ourselves right up for feedback from our audiences. We’ve made space for the patrons to comment in on our foyer display, or in private with the director after the show. The work is, at the end of the day, about the audience, so who better to give us feedback? The audiences have this week been made up of new faces, press and the backbone of FTH:K’s sanity, the FTH:K Family.

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The FTH:K family, which originally started out as actual family members, has grown to include supporters of the work, from public, the press, collaborators and contributors. We hope that in the months to come, these characters in our community will be of the American variety too. Check these family photos by our amazing publicist Christine Skinner:

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Just two more performances left! Our trainees really showing their mettle. Come see! While you’re at it try get your hands on our OfficeBLOCK’ badges, they’re selling like hot cakes!

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Sneak Pictures from Friday’s rehearsal below!

OfficeBLOCK opens on Wednesday, with a preview on Tuesday night.

Rob, our artistic director and award-winning lighting designer will be spending today working out technical cues and once again showing-off his fabulous eye for lighting. Given that 3/4’s of the performers are Deaf, he has to take into account that the Deaf are hugely reliant on their sight and appropriate lighting for balance – especially when climbing on one another!

Jayne has been designing the set and costume. Although Jayne is from historically Joburg, she will give any designer in Cape Town a run for their money with her know-how of Cape Town’s streets,  and her keen eye for design and bargain.

Our newcomer Gali has been lending her hand in the dance department.  Gali Kumwimba nee Malebo, our education co-ordinator, has been involved in musical theatre up in the Free State and has been blessing us with her presence since June.  She is generally the quiet type, that is, until the music starts.

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OfficeBLOCK, is a series of vignettes which details the corporate world, and is also a chance for the public to see the talent we have been harvesting in the form of our trainees Marlon, Christo and Sinethemba. Make no mistake, these are not actors taken because, “ag shame, they’re Deaf” but because their stage presence and physicality is enormously spectacular. This is a chance for the you, the public, to see the value of what FTH:K does, integrating the Deaf and hearing onto one stage. The trainees will perform alongside our Fleur du Cap nominee Liezl de Kock.

This piece will only grow from here and your input is wholly welcome after the show. Next year we take the piece to QuestFest where we integrate with Wings Theatre Company. Following QuestFest we will be bringing the piece to National Arts Festival, to debut on African soil.

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FTH:K is an award-winning company and Ismail Mohamed, National Arts Festival Director, had this to say about FTH:K’s Herbert Dhlomo Naledi Award to Emerging Theatre Company:

“In the presentation of the award the word “emerging” was not to denote newcomer on the block but it was intended to acknowledge a company whose work is giving rise to newly emerging forms of artistic expression, entrepreneurial best practices and a commitment to grow social consciousness through quality driven entertaining theatre productions. The first ever award in this category receives its own sense of value by it being given to a company that celebrates a strong track record of representing the values envisioned by this award.”

We’re bubbling with ideas as we conceptualise the first phase of the ArtsBridge piece.

ArtsBridge is a collaboration with ‘Wings Theatre Company’ in the States and is the creative wing of Quest Visual Theatre. In November we will present a short, 5-day run of the piece at the Intimate Theatre. This piece then goes to Washington D.C. early next year, where it will be developed further, in collaboration with ‘Wings’ for the Quest Fest in February before bringing back to the National Arts Festival at the end of June and beginning of July.

In honour of this very exciting conceptual phase, here are some of the crazy things we’ve come across.

What happens when you ask for tips on Facebook

Ugli Bob asked his Facebook friends for anecdotes from the workplace and here are some of the things they had to say:

  •  banter is the pre-lube, er, prelude to serious research: Research 101
  • I had a project manager go to italy with a company camera to record progress and got a porno back interspersed with pictures of the building. And he paid for the girlfriend to fly from the UK on his expense account, cheeky f@cker.  And I fired a guy unknowingly on his birthday, I’m on a roll. 
  •  oh, wibs you mean when you taught me to play the trombone? *fond mamaries*

When Google Alerts yields a Gem

Tanya keeps an eye out on all things relevant to Deaf and theatre on her Google account. The link between the Deaf and theatre and zombies is a rare but awesome find. These guys are raising funds for the Michigan School for the Deaf.

Zombies walk the sidewalks of downtown Flint for the third annual event

This is thriller?

Putting Mimes to Work

When people don’t want to adhere to traffic rules and regulations: make fun of them. Thanks to Carla Lever for this link!

Shhh! Mimes tackle traffic chaos in Venezuela

Using Mimes to Ridicule Traffic Violators

Yes, this is what we call work.

FTH:K is cursed when it comes to weather. There’s a saying in the company: How do you know it’s FTH:K’s move-in day? It’s raining. It will be the day we have to pull our wooden set across the country and risk exposure to rain and warping, and then we the people packing the set into the trailer, will get wet. Time and time again. Heading to Washington D.C., we thought we had left our weather woes at the National Arts Festival, when could you believe it, we arrived in Washington where, far from wet misery, is experiencing it’s hottest weather in 10 years.

Outside of our climate adapting, it has been a great trip so far, rubbing shoulders with our Yankee counterparts. We’ve toured Gallaudet University, a University for the Deaf in D.C, and bonded with the good people of Quest Visual Theatre.

FTH:K was invited to perform at the opening ceremony of the World Friendship Volleyball Games which is currently being hosted by Gallaudet University. Random, I know.

What made it particularly cool was that, this audience of sporty people took to the snippet of Shortcuts so well. Even though there was a scary moment and where Christo hit the ground with his head instead of his feet (He’s alright now!)

Naturally, going to America, there was trepidation about what kind of food we might encounter (flashes of SuperSize Me) but even our resident Vegan, Jayne, has, despite her initial hesitations, enjoyed many great salads and been introduced to other Vegans. Tink says she has found the greatest beans known to mankind at the Red Hot & Blue.

Back in South Africa there’s the incredible BASA awards happening at the end of August, where three of our supporters are up for awards, in recognition of their support of FTH:K. The Citizen, up in Jozi, was instrumental in aiding our Listen With Your Eyes tour at the Market Theatre last year, as was Distell who has been a fabulous supporter since the beginning. Also, in that list was Pretoria Portland Cement (commonly known as PPC: useful trivia which might be the deciding point in your next General Knowledge Quiz), who sponsored our National Tour of Tales From the Trash last year.


How cool is it to have your sponsors get an award for doing the good work they do!?

We’ve had so many things change round this month, but one who has not even received a mention, was our blessed dinosaur; our photocopy machine, Beast. It was a quick and quiet funeral, and in a brief sermon held by Ma Ang and Ana, our photocopier was laid to rest. Beast was responsible for many an FTH:K programme, funding application and report but after several paper jams, botched copies, and failures to turn on, it was time to go. Beast has since been replaced by Beauty, but his hard work and loyalty, will not be forgotten.

In trying to take over the world, taking knocks is part of the game. So here’s to the uncomfortable weather and the dying office equipment, the FTH:K dream goes on!

More from D.C. to follow…