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Drama Studies – Staff achievements
Robin Singh after directing the first production of Mike van Graan’s new work Green Man Flashing in Durban in March/April 2011 went on to play the character Khan in the drama series Fallen for SABC 1: July – September 2011.
Professor Brian Pearce was invited to be the Guest Speaker on 26 May, 2012 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre for an event organised by the National Creative Arts Youth Festival entitled, “The Love of Dance.”
The Department of Drama and Production Studies has a growing Community Outreach Portfolio.
Dr. Jutka Devenyi was photographed in the autumn 2011 newsletter The Voice as Co-op Advisor of Ubunye Eco-Tourism Cooperative. The Cooperative is located in the Mzimela Village just outside Eshowe, KZN.
Dr. Pamela Tancsik’s involvement with COP 17 provided spin-offs for four Educational Theatre Specialists from the DUT Drama Studies programme when in November 2011 the four second year students performed the play ‘Women greening the nation’ at Alliance Française. The students and the specialist lecturer Dr. Pamela Tancsik got together voluntarily to contribute with a piece of educational theatre on climate change. The play was written and directed by Dr. Pamela Tancsik. Additionally Dr. Pamela Tancsik was commissioned by Oxfam Australia to build gigantic rod puppets for the COP17 March (from Botanic Gardens to the Beach Front) in December 2011. This was in collaboration with Gisele Turner, consultant Wendy Nel and Joe Habib. The two puppets (Baba Amanzi and Mama Mhlaba) represented Water and Earth and proved eye catchers at the COP17 march through Durban. Giselle Turner was also the writer profiled in the September 2011 Children’s Theatre Festival founded by Professor Debbie Lutge. The Department mounted five children’s theatre pieces for this Children’s Theatre Festival much to the delight of Durban primary schools with Thomas Mpoeleng, Giselle Turner and Professor Debbie Lutge all directing works.
Thomas Mpoeleng, besides directing Rain and Silver Stream with an original musical score by Musical Director Lomkhosi Makhubu, a final year Drama Studies student is himself a DUT Drama Studies graduate. Additionally in October he directed his own work Dawn of the Cockroach with DUT Drama Studies Students which received high praise in the press.
In 2011 Lloyd O’Connor attended his first international conference in Osaka, Japan. The conference was held at the University of Osaka and organised by the prestigious organisation International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR). “Petrus du Preez of Stellenbosch University, co-editor of South African Theatre Journal (SATJ), after hearing my paper invited me to submit for possible publication”. Mr. O’Connor is currently editing and reworking the paper in order to submit it to the South African Theatre Journal.
Professor Debbie Lutge continues to serve as a Mercury Durban Theatre Awards Judge and a Board Member of the Twist Development Project. In July 2011 Professor Debbie Lutge accepted the position of HOD: Drama and Production Studies and in August 2011 Prof Lutge traveled to Austria. She was invited by the International University “Global Theatre Experience” and ArtUniverse Co. to present two papers at Der Retzhof (a 15th Century castle in Leitring bei Leibnitz, Austria) on August 26 and 28 respectively. Prof. Lutge’s presentation “Tracing Footprints in Shifting Sands Transposes Paradigms: An Artist’s Perspective” invited as “the important event of the programme” spoke to her signature as a South African director and was billed by the International Conference on “Performing Arts Between Tradition and Contemporaneity” as “bring[ing] interesting experience to the conference participants!”. Additionally Prof Lutge presented a paper “Performing Race and Other Stereotypes: A Memory Bank in a Socio-Political Context”. Both highly lauded papers are currently being edited for publication. Prof Lutge also served as a Peer Reviewer for the NRF and as South African Theatre Journal reviewer, with the additional honor of writing a ‘Forward’ for a new volume of graduate Tumelo Khoza’s poetry volume titled The Roots of an Apple Tree, currently ‘in press’.
In April Prof Lutge was invited to present a Presentation with video exerts for KZN HPPB Provincial Task Team Meeting: 20 April 2011 09h00 – 13H00: Agenda Item 7: 9h20- documented in the National Prosecuting Authority. This presentation to the Human Trafficking/ Prostitution/ Pornography and Brothel Task Team on behalf of the Umlazi Umsindo Group resulted in Umsindo touring their award winning production To be like this rock. In 2011 To be like this rock (as a two hander) by Neil Coppen in collaboration with Umsindo and Deb Lütge won the Musho with a Twist Audience Vote Award, at the Musho Theatre Festival, Catalina Theatre Wilson’s Wharf, Durban 4001. The production with a full cast went on to win Umsindo a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.
Professor Lutge founded and has continued to serve as the Artistic Director for three theatre festivals during 2011, namely: The New Director’s Festival; The DUT New Playwrights Festival; and The DUT Children’s Theater Festival which opened for the first time in September 2011.
Finally, Genbia Hyla who collaborated with students in writing the highly praised new play La Conscientia, additionally published two poems ‘Da Mock Ra See?’ and ‘Being African in isi-Nglish’ in the online academic journal New Coin Poetry in October 2011. The latter poem was first published in DUT’s The ConDUiT.