Janice Honeyman beats the drum for new musical theater composers

Janice Honeyman, one of South Africa’s foremost female directors and theater makers, has taken on the role of mentor to help the winners of the inaugural ‘Cabaret and Beyond Festival’ in their quest to find their unique voices as artists while spotlighting new musicals. theatrical writing as a popular genre.

An independent jury selected Durbanite, Leah Mari and Ntlantla Swana, from Gqeberha, to have their works awarded grants for further development through a partnership between the Center for Creative Arts (CCA) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Mandela Bay Theatre. complex in Gqebera.

The productions will premiere at the Nelson Mandela Bay Theater complex in March this year and run for a later season in Durban.

Dramaturgical assistance from Janice Honeyman will allow Swana, alongside writer Khanyisa Sigwanda, to shape their musical about the pressures of being the first child in an upper-middle-class South African family.

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Mari will also be mentored by Honeyman to write both her music and her book, with the help of Jaco Griessel as arranger, to realize her coming-of-age story told through the eyes of Amy and Zara – two lovebirds who find themselves moving to Cape Town and having to deal with unforeseen events.

“The CAB initiative offers young writers and composers a tremendous opportunity to develop their creativity, and the participants chosen have tremendous talent! The way we worked is intense, and these ladies both have unfailing drive and creativity. I truly admire them and this initiative, which promises growth and development for Janice Honeyman, beats the drum for new composers of original musical theater in South Africa,” said Honeyman.

Project manager and CAB Festival curator Roland Perold is enthusiastic about the progress.

“This is the first time that new musical theater writers in South Africa have been given much-needed mentoring and development space. It will be a pleasure to present these works in development to the public in March. Our goal is not spectacle and scenery, but to tell intimate stories in the most efficient, fun and economical way. We want audiences to engage and have fun while seeing new artistic voices take shape,” he said.

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