Archive for the ‘Womb Tide’ Category

So, the website information about the 10 km walkathon was incorrect and in fact the registration deadline has been extended to the 13th October!! This means that if you wanted to join us before, but weren’t sure if you could, you now have until the 13th to decide!!

And if it is the R60 registration fee that is holding you back, one lovely walker has offered to pay for someone to walk with us.  So there’s no excuse!

Remember: the bigger the team, the more both causes score!

If you are still keen to join, see the registration details below – but remember to CONTACT US if you plan to join us so we can make sure we have a T-shirt made for you:

* CREATE A PROFILE: Firstly, you have to register a new profile online (or on the forms if you would prefer) in order to enter, so don’t be confused by the Login page!

* PROOF OF PAYMENT: Walker’s entries will be acknowledged only when payment is reflected on the account. Verify your payment after 48 hours to confirm that your entry has been processed by visiting or calling 011 844 0419
Fax: Make a direct deposit/EFT into the account and fax your entry form along with your proof of payment to 086 654 1187
• Account number: 1522 173 536; Branch name: Epsom Downs; Branch number: 152205

* TEAM NAME: NB – please use the reference ICH – J/Your team name and surname to make sure you are added to TEAM WOMB TIDE

We are putting two really good ideas together to make one excellent idea!

On Sunday the 31st October, Avon and Justine together with iThemba will be hosting a 10 km walkathon in support of Breast Cancer, and we’re going to register

Team Womb Tide!!

This means we’ll be walking in support of two good causes: the first, of course, being Breast Cancer, and the second being our performance of Womb Tide at the Baxter in November.  Cool, huh?!  We already have a team of 10 people (minimum requirement) and so now are throwing it open to any of our supporters or potential supporters to join the Team.  If you are one of these people, just contact us or call 021 – 448 2838 and we will give you the details of how to register.  And if you have friends who would like to come along, tell them! There is no limit to the size that the Womb Tide Team can be, but we need to get all our entries in by 29th September, so we need to move fast!

The cost for the walk is R60 – and that includes the Womb Tide Team T-shirts that we will be printing for you.

So, want to put your best foot forward??

We can take care of the admin side of things for you – or you can register online. Just let us know which you’d prefer to do.

Remember: the bigger the team, the more both causes score!

MS, CB, & ToS at Laager Board Our Festival is officially open! And Opening Night rocked!  In typical FTH:K style, it was an experiment; a chance to try something different; a new format for an Opening Night shebang.  See, when we were planning the Fest, we couldn’t work out how to do our Opening/Media Night.  Would we do two evenings, one for QUACK! and the other for Womb Tide?  Would we have to cover drinks and food for both?  On the media front, could we really expect them to come to both shows?  And if they did, would they have enough space in their papers to do two reviews?  Surely not.  Surely they would have chosen a single evening to attend and a single performance to review.  Which would have defeated the point of the Festival insomuch as we wanted to show two very different and distinctive pieces of FTH:K’s rep.  I mean, what if they chose the show that didn’t speak to them and as a result reviewed the whole Festival in that one light?  Precisely.  So we decided to do a double-bill Opening Night.  QUACK! at 6, then dinner, then Womb Tide at 8:15.  And, as it turns out, it was the right thing to do.  We were initially concerned that people would leave after dinner having seen only QUACK! – which as we already know, is not everyone’s cup of tea; especially if they happen to be older than 37 ;-) – but the theatre seemed even fuller for the performance of Womb Tide, which was awesome to see.  People came out at the end of the evening comparing the pieces, which they had enjoyed more, why, how they had interpreted the pieces, which elements had spoken most to them etc, but moreover, getting a window into the scope of FTH:K’s creative style.

We are anything but dull, seems to be the general consensus.

So far, reviews for both pieces have been positive, with most reviewers getting the point of this all: visual communication.  And this extends from the integration of the Deaf and hearing communities (both of whom had strong representation at Opening Night) to the style of the pieces.  And with the two works being so different, we never expected everyone to love both.  But we did want to make them think.  And talk.  And discuss.  And debate.  After all, part of FTH:K’s purpose is to push its audiences, sometimes to places of discomfort, but always with the intention of getting them to engage with the experience.  Even if it’s only to unpack that which they didn’t understand or enjoy. Interestingly, one reviewer (who shall remain nameless lest Christine kill this blog-poster on returning to Cape Town!!) refused to review QUACK! He came to Opening Night and only stayed for half the evening as he had “seen Womb Tide in Grahamstown” and said that he disliked QUACK! so much, he couldn’t bring himself to “waste time reflecting on the piece” by writing a review.  This in an email to The Market Theatre.  Interesting, huh?  The Producer from The Market called before sending the email on to us, worried that we might be very disturbed by the reviewers negativity.  The thing is, when you are a theatre company that is committed to breaking new ground, trying new things, pushing that envelope as far as possible, you get used to some people responding as if with an allergic reaction to your work!  Does it get us down?  Not so much.  Sure, it’s kak to have a negative responses to stuff that you put so much love and time into, but you can’t win ‘em all.  Neither would we want to.  Or we would risk becoming the MacDonalds of visual theatre (to steal a phrase) which would suck even more.

As economist John Kenneth Galbraith said: In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.

Sma applauds Sure, it can be lonely at the front, but we keep having to remind ourselves to look back at the people following us, and notice that our audience base continues to grow by the season, and we have far more positive reviews under our belt than negative ones.  (And we include in these, those reviewers who might not have enjoyed a piece but still have something to say about it.  Engaging with the experience in some way, you know?)  Our FTH:K family members constitute those people who are prepared to go on a journey with us, even if it’s to places dark and unknown.

And for that we love them stukkend!!

So.  We had A Plan.  For the record, we had A Plan, ok??  And it was all written out on a smart Excel doc, with dates and times and activities and relevant people and everything.  But there’s a saying about “best laid plans” and all that, and lo, how true it has rung for us.  Firstly, the PX container, with all our QUACK! and Womb Tide stuff in it didn’t arrive.  However, after much phoning and wailing and gnashing of teeth, it finally got delivered an entire week after it was sent, and a day later than it was needed.  Luckily, The clever Plan (and the awesome Market Theatre technical crew) saw us being ahead of schedule by a day or two.  So, when we finally began, we were a day late for being early but on schedule, in fact.  If that makes sense.

Then, there was a delay in our funding, which meant we couldn’t get paid on payday.  Again, we had A Plan in place, but, you know, funders go on holiday; reports get lost; people with signing-off power go to workshops for days…and the 25th comes and goes…and even the Womb Tide puppet starts worrying.

But all these things we can deal with.  The set arrived and the funding came in today (so drinks on us tomorrow ;-)).  But what are we to do about this strike??  One has to marvel at how NOT PART OF THE PLAN it was for us to be in South Africa’s political hotspot, running a theatre festival that targets schools as 50% of its programme, just when a major strike including teachers, army and police force is about to break out!!!  For the love of theatre, Zuma, if for no other reason, find a decent compromise in the next 2 days!!!

Luckily the QUACK! team had a sense of humour about it all in today’s Tech Rehearsal:

QUACK team strikes

Eish.  Sometimes this job we do is not easy.  In fact, often it’s not easy, but it’s rewarding when it pays off.  And on that we hang our hopes for the coming week.  (Check the pics so far)

Good vibes, everyone, good vibes!

LWYE Poster DRAFT 2 - ONCRM 250 Wow. So you know when you have been planning, discussing, thinking about, working on, and preparing for something for what seems like an age and then all of a sudden there it is, bam! Right in front of you, and you wonder how the hell it got there??  Welcome to our world right now! Right now we are preparing to open our first ever season at The Market Theatre with not one but two FTH:K works and a workshop and exhibition programme to boot. And we have to keep fighting off the feeling that we are playing dress-up in mom’s clothes, and take on the idea that might be growing into our own…

This project at The Market started more than a year ago, when, over Chinese food and red wine, we asked what The Market Theatre was doing to encourage the (pretty sizable) Deaf community in Jozi to come to more theatre. And from that, a conversation began that grew in size and voice, until it was bigger than we ever though it would be when we first birthed it. The project got a name. Listen With Your Eyes: a festival of the visual. It got a home. The Market Theatre. And it got some awesome partners, like Arts Alive and Distell and CitiVibe. And it got two fantastic productions: QUACK! and Womb Tide. And then a workshop programme that runs alongside it. And then interactive exhibitions at Sci-Bono and a visual art exhibition by Deaf artist Tommy Motswai…and then Darren Rajbal even agreed to come and open the whole Festival!! It’s one thing to know that you have a good idea to roll with, but quite another when you see it all come together as other people share the vision. Hats off to The Market for coming onboard what many other theatres might have run from…

Seeing as almost the full company is up here in Joburg (we’re just missing Sma, Yusrah and Ma Angela) as well as some of our extended FTH:K family (Dan, Jori, Kim and Tara) this blog is going to be about this Fest for…well…at least the duration of the blog-writer’s stay in JHB!

Keep ‘em peeled for more tomorrow…but until then, here’s to new and exciting adventures…

Once more, this blog is about to become schizophrenic!  The full team is still in the National Arts Festival while our Company Director (that’s me!) gets ready to head off for her final year at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC.  And I know that many of you remember that she was there because this blog has never had as many hits as it did last year when I was there!

So, if the themes of the blog seem to be all about DC and Arts Management, and are written in the first person, you’ll know why!

But while I’ve got your attention, I thought I’d fill you in on the NAF so long.  Not that you had any doubts, but In can say that we have been rocking at the National Arts Festival over the past 10 days.  Was the extra-long Fest a success?  Well, the jury’s still out on that and I imagine the experience of that first week of Fest is going to differ hugely from Main to Arena to Fringe to individual productions.  Our experience of that extended first week was something that I think might be symbolic of the theatre environment in general.  It’s not that there were no audiences out there, or that they weren’t buying tickets.  There were.  And they were.  Simply put, they were just being more discerning with where they put their money.  That’s not to say that anyone who struggled with houses was presenting a kak show.  It means that they weren’t getting the word out about their show, that’s all.  More and more, we as artists have to get cleverer and more strategic about how we tell people about the work we are making.  Especially when at the Macro of live performance that is the National Arts Festival.

Anyway, Womb Tide played in the first week and caused quite a stir. We played to packed houses and excited audiences, with people being moved to tears and moved to become members!  It was very affirming.  Check out out Facebook page for what the critics had to say.

Currently, QUACK! and Pictures of You are burning up the Cape Town Edge platform and once they’re done, Womb Tide and Pictures of You take on the National School’s Festival!  Yes, I’ll say it once more: we work haaaaaaaaaaaaaard for the money!!

So, with that, I have to go and pack, having realised that my plane leaves at 2 pm tomorrow, not 6 pm as I thought!  Next you hear from me, I’ll be in the US of A…but the NAF team will keep you updated on their progress beyond, I’m sure…

I’ll leave you with the face of FTH:K’s future: our Trainees at the Long Table!

Christo at NAF 200 Marlon at NAF 200 Tomri at NAF 200

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!