Archive for the ‘Members’ Category

Life is changing…constantly. Given that art should reflect life, it only makes sense that theatre companies should also be evolving constantly, and FTH:K certainly is. The newest change that we have taken on is in how we raise our money. You already know about Elred’s Epic Journey, but we have recently added a new tool to the FTH:K box of tricks: Vidamo!

FTHKiPhone4Vidamo As Auntie Ana says (that’s our super-cool CEO), “With the changing nature of the funding landscape both locally and internationally, we have to source new ways of generating income.” Not just a pretty face, hey? Following a call to our supporters to help us find exciting new ways to chase sustainability, we were overwhelmed when an individual sponsor not only introduced us to the Vidamo platform but also pledged to fund the service for us! So cool. “The Vida-what-mo platform??”, you ask. What this means is that, through Vidamo, FTH:K’s fundraising platform can be accessed from your mobile phone or desktop, and is a quick and easy way to support us as we finish off 2012 and move into a new 2013 phase. Yep – you’re just a few clicks away from helping us reach our fundraising goal from the FTH:K Family!

To make a donation, all you need to do is SMS “FTHK” to 45825*, or scan the code which will be available on the FTH:K website early next week. An SMS reply will be sent to your phone instantly with a url link to follow, giving you access to the mobile web platform. You are also able to select from a number of premium-rated SMS options: donate R10, R20 or R30*. Alternatively, you can opt to donate using your credit card. And as if this wasn’t cool enough, on the FTH:K Facebook page you can click on the donation tab to make a donation using the payment platform.

codeAccording to Paulette van Heerden, Account Director at the Vidamo Group, there are 46.4 million mobile users in South Africa, and 14 million people actively using mobile web and data services. She also says a further 6 million desktop users can access the application via the FTH:K website and Facebook page while international users are also able to donate by credit card or through the online platform. Now, if we can get a fraction of these fabulous people to come play with FTH:K, our future looks pretty damn cool! And the added bonus? Vidamo’s platforms also allow us to communicate with our database and manage other services like ticketing and event management. Huh? Huh?? Exactly.

Sine and Elred race 300 So, back to one of our awesome existing supporters, Elred Lawrence, and his Epic Journey. We’re going to use his cycle tour along an ancient pilgrim route in Europe to raise funds for FTH:K and test out our new gadget!

Give it a try. C’mon…you know you wanna…

*45825@R1.50/SMS | 38387@R10/SMS | 40447@R20/SMS | 42116@R30/SMS | Errors billed. T&C’s apply. SMS donations are subject to network and admin deductions.


Super Elred We are always going on about how lucky we are to have the family around us that we do, and that without them, FTH:K would never have been able to reach the heights it has. Well, once more we are singing this tune. Why? Because one of our most awesome Family Members is cycling 2000kms in August/September – and he’s doing it to raise money for us! You want to sponsor him…you know you do…

Elred is a Cape-Town based IT consultant with 23 year’s experience with Pick n Pay, who now runs his own company: Elred Lawrence Business Solutions. He is also one of our favourite FTH:K stories. One of his colleagues, Colin Scholtz, interviewed Tanya on what was then FreshFM – Pick n Pay’s radio station – two years ago. As a result, we invited Colin to the opening night of Pictures of You at the Baxter but at the last moment, something came up and he was unable to attend. He offered the tickets to Elred who came, watched and was instantly hooked! He says the piece was so different to anything he had ever seen that he immediately joined the FTH:K Family and has been an ardent supporter of the company ever since.

Ok. But the cycling stuff?

Well, Elred completed his first Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour in 1992, and has since finished a further fourteen. The idea of cycling a long-distance route came to him in 2002 when he was planning his next holiday and an article about the El Camino de Santiago in Spain caught his eye. At first he thought he might walk it but was worried that it would take longer than the time he had to spare – until he read the final line of the article which said that the tour could also be completed by bike. He had cycled this famous Pilgrim Trail (about 1000kms) in 2002 and enjoyed the journey so much he was inspired to start planning for the next one. Ta-dah!

Enter FTH:K.

At our most recent AGM, we took on the issue of the recession and the challenging arts environment that currently exists in South Africa. We called on our supporters to help us find new and interesting ways of bringing in resources to make sure we can carry on doing the work you love. After the AGM, Elred approached us with the idea of using an upcoming cycle to raise money for the Company, and we loved the idea, not only because of the fundraising potential, but also because it was a great example of how we like to put the fun in fundraising. Especially because we don’t have to do the cycling! The long and the short of it is that on 24 August 2012, Elred will leave for England, to embark on the 2000km Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrim trail that was regularly walked over a thousand years ago by clerics and church officials going from Canterbury Cathedral to the Vatican in Rome to visit the Pope. It has been officially resurrected today by the various Governments whose territory it crosses and designated as a European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe. And with every kilometre he cycles, you guys can sponsor not only his pilgrimage, but also South Africa’s favourite visual theatre company!

The Route

ViaFrancigenaThe Via Francigena is not a single road but rather comprises of several possible routes that changed over the centuries as trade and pilgrimage developed and waned. Depending on the time of year, political situation, and relative popularity of the shrines of the saints along the route, travellers may have used any of three or four crossings of the Alps and the Apennines. Unlike Roman roads, the Via Francigena didn’t connect cities but relied more on abbeys.

How to support us

Either you can make a direct deposit into our account, donate through our paygate, or email us with your pledge and we will calculate your donation once he has finished the journey! How easy is that?! He will be recording his travels through his blog, including linking his Garmin tracking system and heart-rate monitor to the site, so you can get a real-time breakdown of his journey and adventures.

So what’s not to like about this?? Support a brave cyclist on a pilgrimage towards great things and at the same time, support a theatre company on a similar mission.

When we talk about turning small money into big change, we mean it!

FTH:K is growing. And with all growth comes change. While change can be a little scary, it can also herald in new and exciting possibilities. Such is the kind of change taking place in FTH:K.

As most of you already know, two key people are moving on from the Company for a little while as they pursue career-training opportunities: Company Director Tanya Surtees, and Education Coordinator, Simangele Mabena.

Tanya Surtees2 250 - Toast Coetzer Tanya is heading off to Washington, DC to extend her Arts Management training by working with the Deaf and hearing visual theatre company, Quest, while brokering the exciting 2-year Quest-FTH:K exchange programme called the Artsbridge International Exchange (which forms the basis of FTH:K’s 5-year plan). While it is obviously sad to see her go, we know that she will remain an active part of the family until she comes back to share what she has learnt. It is also an opportunity for her to put her Kennedy Center training to good use by passing on developed, and developing, skills to a new, up-and-coming Arts Manager.


Enter Ana Lemmer. With an MPhil in Cultural Tourism and Heritage Studies and a BA in Language and Culture, both from Stellenbosch, Ana has a range of experience working in the tourism, arts and heritage sectors. She navigated her way through the various rounds of interviews held by the Company and came up on top as an exciting young Arts Manager, well-capable of taking on Tanya’s role in time. So, from August 2011, look forward to seeing Ana championing the FTH:K cause!

Simangele Mabena - Toast Coetzer 250 The second member of the team to be heading off to foreign lands is Simangele who has been awarded a Sauvé Scholarship in leadership, spending 9 months in Canada to study Integrated Education. This is a huge opportunity for her and FTH:K is very proud of the fact that she was one of the candidates selected – especially as it nominated her for the Scholarship. While her time with FTH:K has been relatively short, Sma has played a vital role in the developing and monitoring of the Company’s education programmes, and leaves behind her a solid programme structure for the new Education Coordinator.

And who is this person?  Let Gali Kumwimba take the stage…

Gali has a BA Honours in Drama and Theatre Arts from the University ofGali the Free State and has been involved in theatre and education for many years. She also has a particular interest in working within the Deaf community and in 2009, astounded us by flying herself down from Bloem just to attend our AGM – normally we have to ply people with alcohol to get them to attend our parties! In 2010, FTH:K reconnected with her through Lady Grey Arts Academy (Company member Liezl’s old school and home town) where Gali was teaching, and when she made the move down to Cape Town with her husband, FTH:K knew they would work with her in time. The time, it would seem, is now!

Bitter-sweet. Happy-sad. Hello-goodbye.  But how cool is it to welcome two new people aboard the FTH:K wagon?! Ahhhh….we are so lucky to be able to grow in the way we are…

But wait, the title of this blog post says something of a party – and in the mists of nostalgia, we forgot to mention that


PartyAhem…yes…FTH:K is throwing a party. Why?? Haven’t you read a word we’ve said?! To say goodbye to old friends, hello to new ones, and bon voyage to the team that leaves in July for the Artsbridge Exchange!! So, if you have been to one of our shows or got involved in our programmes or have reached into your pockets or souls to help up along the way, had any meaningful contact with the company over the years, or simply want to say goodbye, then you’re invited!

WHERE: Theatre in the District
WHEN: Friday 24th June
TIME: 8:30 pm (there will be some formalities so don’t be late!)
DRESS: Anything goes
BRING: A plate of snacks (we’ll take care of some basics, some wine, and make sure there’s a cash bar so we can send some love the way of the Theatre in the District)

It’s important that we know who’s coming so please CONTACT US to let us know if you will be joining us…as well as what you’re bringing so that we don’t get stuck with 400 samoosas as dinner…

See you there!!

Here at FTH:K, we have a lot of special people.  We have Board Members and funders and VIP’s and Members and friends and collaborators and audience members and and and…

We’d like to think that we reward everyone for being part of FTH:K’s journey in ways that reflect the various roles that they play. And one of the ways we thank our most loyal supporters is by giving them access to parts of FTH:K that not everyone gets to see. And we don’t mean sneak peeks of the actors changing in their dressing rooms(although…if the price is right…we are an NGO after all…), we mean sneak peeks of work before anyone else gets to see it.

So, for all our Members, Board Members, Funders and industry VIPS’s, this one’s for you! (You’ll be receiving an invitation soon because “exclusive” means “by invitation only”, right??) For those of you who are dying to join in but aren’t one of the people listed above, contact the office for your space, but remember to bring your R100 annual membership fee to the door so you can Join the Family or alas, you won’t be allowed in…

The EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW for Benchmarks will be held:

* on Friday 24th June
* at Theatre in the District
* from 6:00 pm

And if you’re there, you’ll be the first to see it before it heads out to premiere on the Main Programme of the National Arts Festival

Cool, huh??

CONTACT THE OFFICE to book your place



On Youth Day (appropriately, given the themes of the play), Womb Tide played to its first audience.  And if you weren’t there, it’s because it was an exclusive preview for our Members and VIP’s only.  Just another reason why you should be joining the FTH:K Family

We had a huge turn out (any bigger and we would not have been able to fit everyone in the room!) complete with Executive Committee Members, Development Committee Members, media friends, past funders, potential sponsors, and of course, our Members of the FTH:K Family.  And they liked it!  It is always very nerve-wracking to put a new work in front of an audience, especially when our Artistic Director feels the need to push the envelope with every new work he makes (I mean, it takes a very brave or totally insane team to take a Lara Foot script and turn it into non-verbal theatre!!), but the responses we have received from people so far have been very positive. “We thoroughly enjoyed yesterday…” (Ed), and “…the play held us spellbound throughout.” (Elred), and “I loved it! I think [they] have an even greater hit on their hands than Pictures of You." (Marina) are just some of the responses we have been receiving.

So, again, a HUGE thank you to everyone who joined us for the preview and we look forward to seeing you back for our next special event in November when we play at the Baxter Theatre – a Before and After look at Womb Tide.  Because you saw it first!