South Africa National Arts Festival

(redirected from Grahamstown Festival)

South Africa National Arts Festival (Grahamstown Festival)

Late June through early July
Grahamstown, South Africa, is the site for what is purportedly the world's largest arts festival after Britain's Edinburgh Arts Festival. Since the inaugural festival in 1974, this small city in the Eastern Cape has increasingly drawn more people for the 11-day National Arts Festival (also known as the Grahamstown Festival ), and has expanded its number of shows from 60 to more than 500. Organized by the Grahamstown Foundation, the festival takes both South African and international entrants.
The festival program manages an even balance of sophisticated and popular entertainment. Performances cross the spectrum from opera, cabaret, and jazz to stand-up comedy and folk music. The Fringe Festival, which in some years has featured up to 200 performances, attracts fans of more unconventional art.
The festival's largest theater venue is the 1820 Settlers National Monument. Smaller productions, which include those on the festival's fringe program, take place in any of the town's available public halls or large rooms.
Grahamstown has also gained a reputation for the enormous street market that materializes during the festival and bolsters the region's economy. Traders come from all over the Eastern Cape and set up stands in public parks and market squares to sell homemade and manufactured products.
CONTACTS:
National Arts Festival
P.O. Box 304
Grahamstown 6140 South Africa
www.nafest.co.za
References in periodicals archive ?
The company also launched the careers of young Black British theatre makers and toured groundbreaking work to South Africas Grahamstown Festival.
In his very articulate interview, Andrew Buckland is painfully aware that, even after 1994, the bulk of the audience attending his Grahamstown Festival performances has been white.
1) This notion of complicity is echoed in responses to Brett Bailey's Blood Diamonds/Terminal produced for the 2009 Grahamstown Festival, in which Grahamstown and its people, present and past, are depicted in three sets of images which Bailey claims 'speak for themselves.
It led to the creation of Elephant, the play devised in the North East and South Africa which is shortly to be performed on Broadway, and to a new piece of work which Dodgy Clutch will premiere at the Grahamstown festival this summer.
At the annual Grahamstown festival in South Africa in 1999, Xhosa women offered beadwork made of plastic beads instead of glass.
In South Africa, a particular barometer for the status of theater has been, for many years now, the Grahamstown Festival of the Arts, which, from humble beginnings in the early 70s, has become a cultural showcase where all the arts, but theater in particular, moved from the periphery to the center of national attention.
The Grahamstown Festival, which began in 1974 as avenue for the (white) provincial arts boards and a handful of student shows, became South Africa's most influential arts festival - and a prime target for boycotters attacking, with considerable but not unlimited justice, the elitist flavor of the event.
Guy Butler, The Origins of the Grahamstown Festival, Dugmore Memorial Lecture, 1990 (1820 Grahamstown Foundation, 1991), pp.
Although his work is virtually unknown in this country (with the notable exception of The Road, which won the American Theater Association's Christina Crawford Award in 1984), Mda's reputation as a political playwright, poet, painter and educator is well established in Europe and in Africa, especially in his native country, where his political writings for the stage have seen frequent production since the late 1970s at the People's Space Theatre in Capetown, the Market Theatre in Johannesburg and the Grahamstown Festival.
After returning from a tour through France, Holland and the Isle of Man with his Puns and Doedie shows, Friedman toured the Garden Route in South Africa in 1987 and also performed at the Grahamstown Festival, Durban Expo and Gold Reef City.
The Grahamstown Festival is significantly more representative in terms of race than Aardklop or KKNK, although in all three cases the festivals are generally supported more by the white community (Snowball & Willis, 2006; Visser, 2007).
For three years running The Beauty Contest drew full houses and standing ovations at the Grahamstown Festival of the Arts.