DUT PRESENTS A NEW ORIGINAL PRODUCTION: CHRONICLES OF JACK
Chronicles of Jack – a quirky original tragi-comedy about the life of a rural student at a city university – is a new play especially written for DUT by Mbasa Tsetsana (Waiting for Nelson) which will be performed by DUT students at the Courtyard theatre for two public performances on 18 and 19 August 2017.
The production takes a wry look at the experiences of a young student from the Eastern Cape, and his challenges to adapt to Wits city campus in Johannesburg as part of the Fees Must Fall generation – about some of the social complexities, clashing ideologies and tussle between tradition and self-discovery.
The action is performed to a soundtrack of African traditional songs and newly-composed original numbers. The production was written especially for DUT drama undergraduates to allow the students to experience a very intense, high-impact rehearsal process: the whole project from start to finish will take ten days – with the rehearsal process itself scheduled to take only 48 hours. The concept will allow participating students to have a taste of life in a post-academic world with challenging industry-appropriate deadlines. It also encourages focus, concentration, commitment, resourcefulness and efficiency.
It is directed by DUT drama student Sphephelo Dlamini and Dr Pamela Tancsik. Dlamini has also composed the original music. The production features 24 students chosen from an open audition from first, second and third years.
Dlamini directed Waiting for Nelson last year for his directing project. Dlamini, a final year student at DUT’s Drama and Production Studies department, says that he’s always wanted to change the world through the arts. “I have always wanted to be an actor, since from my childhood. I grew up with a passion of changing the world. That was and is a bold idea, but I believe, that through the arts, we are changing the world every day.
I personally believe that theatre is where people get educated and it is where people express how they feel about the society they live in. They also talk about what other people are afraid to speak about and be the voice of the voiceless. For the past three years, I never thought that I would one day be able to tell African stories through dialogue on stage, well theatre has allowed me to. I am particularly excited about the time challenges of this project: theatre as speed dating!”
Mbasa Tsetsana is a theatre actor, writer and director from East London. He also acts and writes for the screen. He has written, directed and staged a total of six plays. He has acted in a number of stage productions including, but not limited to, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys, Morountodun, directed by internationally renowned actor and director Andrew Buckland and Red Shoes, written and directed by Leila Henriques. His debut in television came with his supporting role as Mxolisi, on ETV’s 8 part miniseries, The Alliance (2016).
He has been trained by South African and international greats, such as Andrew Buckland, Janet Buckland, Anton Krueger, Bailey Snyman, Dr. Samuel Ravengai, Greg Homann, Prof. David Peimer and Brumilda van Rensburg. He has had the honour of working with, and being mentored by award winning artists such as Sello Maake kaNcube, Pamela Nomvete, Mpho Osei Tutu, Leila Henriques, Craig Higginson and Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom.
He has written, acted and directed for stages such as The South African State Theatre, The Market Theatre Laboratory, The WITS Downstairs Theatre and The Roodepoort Theatre’s Youth Arts Festival, where his show Waiting for Nelson