Palesa Mazamisa hoists the South African flag

Shoes & Coups

Palesa Mazamisa hoists the South African flag high at the Voices International Theater Festival by the Jersey City Theater Center.

The Market Theatre Foundation congratulates Palesa Mazamisa for her work, Shoes & Coups, being selected as one of the participants to take part in the 2nd Annual Voices International Theater Festival by the Jersey City Theater Center from 16 – 25 October 2020. Shoes & Coups won the 2019 Naledi Theatre Awards for Best New South African Script and Best Supporting Actor.

Shoes & Coups: a paradox of the absurd, is a punchy satirical play on the state of contemporary global politics, the rise of civil activism and a controversial pair of shoes. The show provides an illuminating, insightful and frequently hilarious look at harsh realities of presidential politics.

“I’m honoured and thrilled to be part of the international plays selected to showcase at the 2nd Annual Voices International Theater Fest presented by the Jersey City Theater Center. The festival is a much-needed platform in the current state of global affairs that links us as artists and demonstrates that we have more in common than what sets us apart,” said Palesa.

The 2020 Voices International Theatre Festival will showcase daring and thematically provocative multi-disciplinary work that has been curated to offer festivalgoers a deeply stimulating cross-section of ethnic, racial, gender, and political perspectives. Among the notable companies and artists participating are the internationally acclaimed Belarus Free Theater; Palesa Mazamisa (from South Africa); Ranan (from India; Roman Viktyuk Theatre (from Russia); RAAAM Theater Group of Estonia; Manuel Vignoulle (from France); Matara (from Israel); New York-based Sidra Bell Dance; Los Escultores del Aire (from Spain); and Haeboma (from South Korea).

This year’s Festival is a unique hybrid of virtual and live events featuring the work of twenty-one ground-breaking theatre companies from Europe, Eastern Europe, South Asia, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States. The Festival is the largest of its kind in New Jersey.

Included in the 2020 Voices International Theatre Festival are works about racial and social justice; gender equality; climate change; globalization; the tech revolution; personal freedom vs. totalitarianism; materialism and hedonism; war and terror; and traditional vs. modern culture this is aimed at sparking of conversations about important topics of our times through the arts – relevant to our community and universal in scope.

“There is a sharpness of wit, a commitment to the word, a microscopic view of the world she portrays in this satire. It takes someone who is very well versed on her history ,someone with a clear understanding of how that history is pivotal to the whole lots of moments that carve the journey forward to write a play like Shoes & Coups. That is the joy that Palesa Mazamisa is,” added James Ngcobo the Market Theatre Foundation Artistic Director.

“The onset of Covid-19 has also brought out that theatre, and other art forms, are in fact not a luxury for the elite, but a necessary element to our lives that brings people together in terms of social connecting, learning about issues and other worlds through art, and in many instances the temporary escape from one’s life is important to our emotional and mental health,” concluded Mazamisa.

Source about the Festival was from   

Short Biography Palesa Mazamisa

Palesa Mazamisa is an award-winning playwright, author, and director. Her play Shoes & Coups, staged at the Market Theatre’s Barney Simon theatre in November & December 2018, received 8 nominations including Best New South African Script, Best Director & Best Production, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor from the prestigious national Naledi Theatre Awards. The play went on to win the Best New South African Script and the Best Supporting Actor awards. Shoes & Coups cast Michelle Mosalakae, Zizi Peteni, Sipho Zakwe (winner of Best Supporting Actor), and Sihle Ndaba.

The satirical play Shoes & Coups provides an irreverent look at the state of global politics. Set in a fictional state, the play draws on political and economic phenomena that we are currently witnessing across the world. From the Black Lives Matter protests in the US to civil and political unrest in countries such as Belarus, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Brazil, to name but a few, countries are plagued by soaring inequality, racism, and eroding democracy at the behest of the interest of ‘dark money’ who appear to have the power to direct political allegiance as they see fit. The themes in this contemporary play have universal relevance that makes Shoes & Coups a timeless piece.

A published author and playwright her work has featured in numerous publications. She’s has had several short stories published in anthologies including the short story ‘Kadra’s Decree’, published in Open: An anthology of writing by South Africa’s best women writers, which was widely recognized for its subject matter of Female Genital Mutilation. Her short story A Day In August’ was published in the literary anthology Botsotso 17 in 2016, and Bad Ag, published in the now defunct literary journal Baobab. She co-wrote and co-produced the play Bubbly Bosoms for the Thari Ya Arts group, which was staged at the National Theatre in Pretoria, South Africa in August 2010, and at the National Arts Festival in June 2011.

Mazamisa was part of the Market Theatre’s virtual project #Ditshomo, which live streamed nine productions across all its social media platforms to ensure that its loyal supports and new audiences were able to get a taste of South Africa’s theatre prowess from the comfort of their homes during the Covid-19 lockdown. Her play Lazyboy featuring award winning actress Zikhona Sodlaka. Lazyboy is a woman’s plea for her dignity amidst chaos. Set in a time of fear and anxiety caused by the covid-19 pandemic, the play takes the audience through a journey of desperation, anger, sorrow and ultimately a sliver of humanity. Lazyboy is the story of a woman seeking to triumph against all odds.

For further information, interviews and images, contact:
Lusanda Zokufa, Senior Publicist
072 367 7867 Account:
Lusanda Zokufa – Kathilu
011 832 1641
072 367 7867
The Market Theatre Foundation