Market Theatre to host Performing Arts Scholarships gala

The internationally renowned Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg is set to host the seventh annual Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) / Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) / Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarships awards for the first time this year. The theatre will play home to the arts tuition competition’s finale for the next three years and promises to deliver a spectacular night when the top six finalists showcase their talents in the John Kani Theatre on 12 October 2015.

Last year's finalists. Photo: artscomments.wordpress.com
Last year's finalists. Photo: artscomments.wordpress.com

The seventh edition of event, dubbed the Magic in the Making awards, will include a showcase by the six finalists to a live audience and an independent panel of judges. The production’s variety show format will not only allow the participants to deliver enchanting pieces in dance, singing and acting, but also allow an opportunity for a charismatic presenter to bring all the acts together into a seamless performance for the audience and judges to enjoy.

Nedbank Arts Affinity and DALRO will provide three more scholarships this year totalling the value of R315 000, adding to the current number of 12 scholarships that have been awarded since the programme’s inception six years ago. To date, the value of scholarships that have been granted stands at R1 260 000. Registrations for the Scholarships Programme closed on 31 May 2015.

Market Theatre CEO Annabell Lebethe explained: “We as the Market Theatre are very delighted to host the Performing Arts Scholarships for the first time this year. This initiative supports youth development ideals that are in line with our vision as an organization – and part of it is to provide the highest level of artistic excellence in all aspects of the performing and visual arts by contributing to the education and development of a new generation of arts talent in South Africa. We are proud to be part of Magic in the Making and believe that this year’s production will be more than spectacular!”

Pieter Jacobs, chief Executive Officer of the Arts & Culture Trust, said: “This new exciting partnership with the Market Theatre seeks to take full advantage of the learning and development opportunities the Scholarships Programme offers. An exciting addition to this already dynamic process is the integration of Market Theatre Laboratory apprentices as Assistant Director and Crew. While the winners will go on to study performing arts, the finalists would have gained valuable experience working with the programme's creative team. Comprising of professional performing artists, this group of experts also guides a young MC making their presenting debut during the final round of the programme. As part of the Scholarships' alumni programme, previous winners will also be given an opportunity to join the creative team as choreographers this year.”

The Scholarships Programme is open to 2015 Grade 12 learners and individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 who are not considered professionals and wish to pursue undergraduate studies in the performing arts at any accredited South African tertiary institution. These individuals will be assessed on their acting, dancing and singing potential, with the process culminating in a final showcase before an independent panel of industry judges. For the auditions, participants are required to prepare a prescribed monologue, song and dance, which will be made available on the ACT website and in addition to that they will get an opportunity to perform a monologue of their choice.

Katlego Nche, the first-place winner in 2014, said: “I would like thank ACT, DALRO and Nedbank for the wonderful opportunities that they have put before me. Because of them, a part of my dream is fulfilled and it keeps expanding. Believe me when I say that there's actually more to it than just the main prize. My words of encouragement to those who have applied to be part of this programme is that they should work hard on their craft and they will receive more than they bargained for.

Following the successful audition process last year, the organisers have made the opportunity in 2015 accessible to more participants by holding try-outs in all nine provinces. Auditions will take place in the following regions and venues:

  • 30 June - 1 July: Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
  • 3-4 July: Cape Town, Western Cape
  • 6-8 July: Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
  • 15 July: Pretoria, Gauteng
  • 16-17 July: Johannesburg, Gauteng (Market Theatre)
  • 24 July: Kimberley, Northern Cape
  • 25 July: Bloemfontein, Free State
  • 28 July: Potchefstroom, North West
  • 30 July: Witbank, Mpumalanga
  • 1 August: Polokwane, Limpopo

For the final round, the top six candidates must be available for rehearsals and training with industry professionals from 6 to 12 October in Johannesburg. Winners will be announced and awarded the scholarships at the finale on 12 October.

Call for entries: a talented MC to host the awards

The search for a dynamic young presenter who will host the seventh ACT/DALRO/Nedbank Scholarships finale is underway. The countrywide series of auditions will kick off at the end of June, alongside the search for the top six young performers who will be eligible to win one of three scholarships. MC search auditions will take place on the same dates as the above auditions for the scholarships themselves. There is no registration fee and participants can register online here. The closing date for the MC registrations is 19 June 2015. All registered individuals will be supplied with audition material and necessary details

Last year’s host Palesa Malebo, a student and radio presenter from Sasolburg, said the experience of presenting the ceremony was “beyond great” and “a monumental experience”.  “If I had a choice I would do it all over again," she said. "Winning the MC search has pushed me to work hard at becoming established in the entertainment industry and another upside is that I am more popular with my radio show’s listeners.”

For more information visit the ACT website here, email scholarships@act.org.za or phone (+27)11 712 8403.

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