Inaugural Women’s Festival at The Drama Factory

My Weight and Why I Carry It performed by Tasmin Sherman.

Inaugural Festival at The Drama Factory celebrates South African women through music, comedy, drama and more.

The inaugural Women’s Month Festival – Your Voice, Your Stage, runs at The Drama Factory this month with a programme that offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Coinciding with National Women’s Month, the Festival line-up features comedy, music, drama and discussion panels, all presented by women, sharing stories about women and performed by some of South Africa’s most amazing women. It runs from 16 to 21 August.

“We were delighted to receive applications from these very talented producers, with some exciting shows available to mark our first Festival,” says festival co-producer, Faeron Wheeler. “One of the highlights of the festival is sure to be île, performed by Sophie Joans, and which comes to us hot off the National Arts Festival, where it received a prestigious Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award.”

Île follows the story of a young girl who goes to visit her ancestral home: Mauritius. What she thought would be a nostalgic trip to a tropical island to connect with her late grandfather and meet her extended family, gets all too real as darker characters emerge from the undergrowth of the volcanic island. Île is a heart-warming, hilarious story of coming-of-age, family feuds, and the insanity that happens when people stay in the same place for too long.

Get ready to laugh on Friday night with a brilliant stand-up comedy show which is being put together by Nicola Date and Saya Pierce-Jones, two much-loved comedians who have both made a name for themselves in the comedy circuits around Cape Town. They promise to bring some very funny ladies to join them on stage!

No arts festival celebrating National Women’s Month in South Africa would be complete without some engaging conversations around the roles of women in the arts industry. Join the panel discussion centred around the business of the arts and how women are impacted by the various aspects of the industry. It’s set to be a compelling conversation thanks to some powerhouse panellists.

Other productions in the festival line-up include recent Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award recipient My Weight and Why I Carry It, The Shell Singer, Sassy Winter Classics and a new production, Insecure, from Silumko Theatre Company.

Performed by Tasmin Sherman and directed by Ingrid Wylde, My Weight and Why I Carry It is one girl’s story about the most important piece of clothing in a young woman’s life: a bikini. The play tells the tale of Vic and the events that led her to presenting herself in front of a strange audience, tackling tough subjects such as fatphobia, tenuous family relationships, and the ways that a simple piece of clothing can impact one’s life so meaningfully.

The core of The Shell Singer explodes from a scream, “Where are you?!” This cutting-edge piece of theatre reveals the psychosis of a shattered being. Denied the primal need to belong, her broken heart births a shell. She uses its colours and sounds to re-create sweet and terrifying memories of the womb, and takes the audience on this bitter journey. Performed by Imke du Toit, it is written and directed by Marianna le Roux.

Insecure is a brand-new piece that has been workshopped by the cast and directed by Mava Silumko, who was nominated for the Best New Director Award at the Fleur Du Cap Theatre Awards 2022. Insecure is performed by Yongisipho Mtimkhulu, Zizipho Cadu, Sinazo Guga and Buhle Sam.

The story revolves around the dangers of being insecure and how the destruction that these insecurities lead to can be enormous. Emotions run high as a husband loses his life at the hands of his very own entrusted wife.

Returning to The Drama Factory is Die Goeie Pa and two-time Standard Bank Ovation Award recipient Your Perfect Life.

Die Goeie Pa features Erika Marais, who was nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of Eleanor Kasrils in The Unlikely Secret Agent. It is directed by Fleur du Cap Award-winning director Paul du Toit. A happy family. A good father. But every family has something to hide. Die Goeie Pa explores the dramatic journey of three characters, a mother and her twin daughters, and the psychological effects of their abuse: denial, guilt, jealousy and Stockholm Syndrome. “A must-see” (Broadway World).

A woman should have it all – a career and a family! But what if you don’t? Karlien and Caitlyn are at their 20-year reunion, bracing for the “What have you been up to?” questions. One has the family, the other the career. Neither is sure they have what they want. Your Perfect Life is a poignant and funny look at how life can take unexpected turns and how society judges us for dealing with it the best way we can. “Loved this sassy, smart, funny comedy-drama” (The Cape Robyn).

“We are delighted to see our stage graced by so many talented women and are humbled by their fortitude to be making quality theatre in these challenging times,” says Co-producer of the festival and owner of The Drama Factory, Sue Diepeveen.

Bookings can be made at www.thedramafactory.co.za


Festival programme

Tuesday 16 August
19:00-20:00

île          
Written and performed by Sophie Joans
Directed by Rob van Vuuren
Presented by Spark in the Dark
PG 16 – Language

20:30-21:30        

The Shell Singer
Performed by Imke du Toit
Witten and directed by Marianna le Roux
Presented by Marianna Productions
PG 14 – Mature Content

Wednesday 17 August
19:00-20:00

Die Goeie Pa      
Performed by Erika Marais
Written by Gail Louw
Translated and directed by Paul du Toit
Presented by Unlikely Productions
PG 16 – Mature Content GBV

20:30-21:30

Insecure
Directed by Mava Silumko
Presented by Silumko Theatre Company
PG 13 – Language

Thursday 18 August
19:00-20:00

My Weight and Why I Carry It    
Performed by Tasmin Sherman
Produced by Anton Krueger / Fishnet Features
Directed by Ingrid Wylde
PG 16

20:30-21:30

Insecure
Directed by Mava Silumko
Presented by Silumko Theatre Company
PG 13 – Language

Friday 19 August
19:00-20:00        

Your Perfect Life
Written and performed by Faeron Wheeler and Erika Marais
Directed by Sue Diepeveen
Presented by F Creations
PG 13 – Language

20:30-22:00

Ladies Night Comedy
Presented by Compass Rose Collection
Hosted by Nicola Date
PG 16 – Language

Saturday 20 August
11:30-12:30        

The Business of the Arts Panel discussion

15:00-16:00

Your Perfect Life
Written and performed by Faeron Wheeler and Erika Marais
Directed by Sue Diepeveen
Presented by F Creations
PG 13 – Language

19:00-20:00

My Weight and Why I Carry It
Performed by Tasmin Sherman
Produced by Anton Krueger / Fishnet Features
Directed by Ingrid Wylde
PG 16

20:30-21:30

Île
Written and performed by Sophie Joans
Directed by Rob van Vuuren
Presented by Spark in the Dark
PG 16 – Language

Sunday 21 August
13:00-14:00        

Die Goeie Pa     
Performed by Erika Marais
Written by Gail Louw
Translated and directed by Paul du Toit
Presented by Unlikely Productions
PG 16 – Mature Content GBV

15:00-16:00

The Shell Singer
Performed by Imke du Toit
Witten and directed by Marianna le Roux
Presented by Marianna Productions
PG 14 – Mature Content

18:00-19:00

Sassy Winter Classics
Presented by The Drama Factory


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NOTES TO EDITORS

The 2022 Women’s Month Festival is a collaboration between The Drama Factory and F Creations.


The Drama Factory and Sue Diepeveen

Diepeveen is a Cape Town based film, television and theatre actress, as well as being the owner of The Drama Factory. Diepeveen is heavily involved in mentoring programmes for young actors and is committed to ensuring a safe and affordable space for new work to see the light of day.

The Drama Factory is an intimate space that provides quality entertainment to suit a wide variety of tastes. The theatre endeavours to provide an affordable space for productions to bring their creative ideas to life and present high-quality entertainment to its audiences. From music to theatre to comedy, poetry and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

As an actress, Diepeveen saw her return to stage with her self-written solo show So You Want To Be A Trophy Wife? in 2015. 2018 saw her on stage with Dario Fos’ A Woman Alone directed by Margot Wood. She also performed in 2019’s Vday performance of The Vagina Monologues. Diepeveen then produced and performed in Mike Van Graan’s Two To Tango, which had successful runs at the National Arts Festival and The Hilton Arts Festival in 2019.

Diepeveen is the director of Your Perfect Life for F Creations, which won two Standard Bank Ovation Awards at The National Arts Festival – for its live debut in 2019 and for its online presentation in 2021. In addition to directing Thirst for the Cape Town Fringe (2016) under the Sugar-Daddy Production house, she has directed the acclaimed Blueberry Toast (2018), which has completed two successful Cape Town runs. As a writer, she has written five plays for large casts for children.


F Creations and Faeron Wheeler

Wheeler has been involved in theatre and the stage since she was only three years old. She studied drama and dancing throughout her school years. She then went on to do a BA with a double major in Screenwriting and English before earning her Honours in Film Production from the University of Cape Town.

In 2017, she began producing theatre through her company, F Creations, and has toured shows around South Africa. Productions include Jam Every Other Day, The Complete Work of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Whale Nation and So You Want to be a Trophy Wife?. In 2019, Wheeler teamed up with Erika Marais to write and perform in Your Perfect Life. The show premiered at the National Arts Festival Fringe, where it received its first Standard Bank Ovation Award, before touring around Cape Town.

During the pandemic, Wheeler continued to create under the banner of F Creations – turning to directing, filming and editing with (extra)ordinary, (un)usual. This production is a monologue showcase, using the writings of Australian playwright Pete Malicki. Created as a hybrid of theatre and film, this piece debuted online in October 2020. The piece was also part of the vFringe on-demand streaming platform for the National Arts Festival in 2021, where it received a Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award. F Creations also received an unprecedented second Standard Bank Ovation Award for their digital offering of Your Perfect Life during the 2021 Festival.


Christine Skinner
christinemskinner@gmail.com
082 855 7277
The Drama Factory
https://www.thedramafactory.co.za/

Sophie Joans in île. Photo: Elijah-za Gengan.
Sophie Joans in île. Photo: Elijah-za Gengan.
Imke du Toit in The Shell Singer - Marianna Productions.
Imke du Toit in The Shell Singer – Marianna Productions.
Erika Marais in Die Goeie Pa. Photo: Jeremeo Le Cordeur.
Erika Marais in Die Goeie Pa. Photo: Jeremeo Le Cordeur.
Your Perfect Life - F Creations.
Your Perfect Life – F Creations.
Ladies Night Comedy.
Ladies Night Comedy.