Rhodes University Drama Department offers an integrative approach to drama studies. We emphasise the body as expressive medium in locating and training unique, indigenous performance languages. Most of our teaching staff are practitioners themselves affording students an intensive interface between choreography, performance, theoretical and administrative studies. Our strong undergraduate programme prepares students for a comprehensive selection of eleven Honours papers. Our post graduates produce a variety of high quality works drawing from all disciplines and genres of performance.
Each year the Rhodes Drama Department and resident company First Physical Theatre Company produce at least ten productions at the National Arts Festival with alumni featuring in over thirty. To date, we have produced four Young Artists Award winners, taught four of the six physical actors who auditioned for Cirque du Soleil (2008) and our staff have presented productions and conference papers in more than ten countries. Our alumni stretch from the Hollywood sublime (the Borg Queen) to the Boksburg ridiculous (Twakkie), to five of the ten South African university dance and drama departments. In recent years, graduates have won Arts and Culture Trust awards, Naledi awards, FNB Dance Umbrella awards, Gauteng MEC Dance and Choreography nominations, a SPAT award, a Daimler-Chrysler South African Choreography nomination and a KZN DanceLink nomination.
Rhodes University Drama Department Presents
A new devised work directed by Mwenya Kabwe
21, 22 & 23 May 2014
About the work | dynamic, fantastical, fresh
Age recommendation | 12 +
Duration | one hour
Tickets available at | Theatre Administrator (Room 107) | 09:00 – 13:00 weekdays
Ticket prices | R40 Public | R25 Students | R20 Block
Contact | Katlego 046 603 8542 (mornings only) | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rhodes Drama Department proudly presents Astronautus Afrikanus, a work devised by the cast under the direction of guest director Mwenya B. Kabwe in collaboration with Lieketso wa Thaluki and Illka Louw.
This immersive work uses the source story of a rather colourful character in Zambian history named Edward Mukuka Nkoloso who in the mid 1960's was convinced that Zambia was going to beat the Russians and Americans to space. So much so that he started a Zambian space programme a year before Zambia's independence from Britain in 1964, and started to train a group of young people to be his Afronauts. Inspired by this story this production is an immersive work that invites the audience to discover the nooks and crannies of the Rhodes Main Theatre.
Astronautus Afrikanus celebrates imagination, invention, intellectual and creative freedom and indigenous African Knowledge systems. It is an ode to African thinkers, philosophers, pavement intellectuals and poets whose genius is undervalued, unrecognized and even ridiculed.
The audience is invited to celebrate exploration and discovery by creating their own journey through a working space station. They are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and bring their spirit of adventure!
Astronautus Afrikanus features the work of a fabulous group of creatives intellectuals:
Danielle Van Der Merve
About the director | Mwenya Kabwe
Mwenya B. Kabwe is a Zambian theatre maker, performer, educator and mother. She has a Masters in Theatre and Performance with a focus on theatre making, from the University of Cape Town where she was a lecturer in the Drama Department for four years. She currently teaches performance studies and theatre making in the Drama Division of the Wits School of Arts.
Kabwe is a recipient of a number of awards including a Fleur du Cap, Naledi and the Handspring Award for Best Visual Theatre Production. Kabwe’s original work has been showcased at the Drill Hall in Johannesburg (Please Do Not Leave Your Baggage Unattended, (2007), Out the Box Festival of Puppetry and Visual Performance (for nomads who have considered settling when the travel is enuf, (2007), 27 Windows, 4 Doors, 2 Taps, (2010), Migritude’ Echo (2011) and the UNESCO Chair International Festival of Theatre Schools in Barcelona Spain (Afrocartography: traces of places and all points in between, 2008). Kabwe is also one of the seven 2007 Spier Contemporary winners for a collaborative performance work titled Unyawo Alunampumlo (The Foot Has No Nose) with Chuma Sopotela and Kemang Wa Lehulere. In 2013 she directed a site-specific version of her autobiographical choreopoem, Afrocartography: Traces of Places and all points in between, in and around the Wits Theatre in Johannesburg. Later that year the production was reworked to feature at the Afrovibes 2013 Festival in Amsterdam. She has also been recently named one of ‘Five female theatre makers in South Africa you should know’, by AfriPop magazine:
Media contact | Katlego Gabashane
Dr Ameh AKOH (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Dates: 23 Feb – 20 April
Osun State University, Nigeria
Dr Ameh Akoh
45 minute presentation followed by discussion
"The Famished Young men”: Nigerian Drama beyond Soyinka
27 March @ 14:30 in the Drama Lecture Theatre, RU Theatre Building
Drama staff will be in the RU Theatre foyer to take you to the venue.
Dr Ameh Akoh is a postdoctoral researcher in the drama department for the first term until 20 April. His is currently conducting research on the Nigerian dramatist, Femi Osofisan. This fellowship is part of the AFRICAN HUMANITIES PROGRAMME which includes 5 African countries and is funded by the Carnegie Corporation.
Through fellowship competitions, regional workshops, and peer networking, the African Humanities Program provides support to the humanities in five African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The centerpiece of the program is the distribution of fellowships to African scholars in these countries for work on dissertations, research projects, and scholarly manuscripts … The program is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Information prepared by Professor Gary Gordon
19 March 2015
Theatre in Motion 2014
Wednesday 22 - Saturday 25 October 2014
Rhodes University Drama Department proudly presents the programme for Theatre in Motion 2014. Theatre in Motion is an annual festival showcasing examination pieces from young, innovative and talented performers in the Drama Department tasked with creating original and inspiring theatre pieces from their extensive study over the year. This year’s Theatre in Motion consists of two programmes: Programme A which features Honours and Masters Choreography works, and Programme B which features Drama 3 Physical Theatre, Drama 3 Visual Theatre, and Honours Contemporary Performance works.
See upcoming events for more info on TIM '14.
For more information on the drama department visit our drama reviews