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Stage Stars set to Shine at Independent Theatre Awards

Stage Stars set to Shine at Independent Theatre Awards

The 1st Independent Theatre Makers Awards, conceived by actor Thato Vejah Moeng and the creative duo behind one of Gauteng’s most dynamic independent theatre spaces, the TX Theatre in Tembisa, Mxolisi Masilela and Mongezi Mabunda, are set to take place in early February this year.

In recent years, there has been muted grumbling and public murmuring within the theatre community about the existing mainstream theatre awards for Gauteng, specifically the Naledi Theatre Awards (and, by extension, Western Cape’s Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards). It seems that these awards do not sufficiently acknowledge the independent theatre scene. This is evident in the scarcity, if any, of nominations or wins for independent theatre productions. The stringent criteria, including the required duration of a show, often exclude these independent productions, some of which take place in makeshift theatre spaces, making them virtually invisible.

“We recognized a need for the acknowledgement of independently produced works and also aimed to broaden the spectrum. Currently, there are only about two recognized theatre awards in the country. Therefore, our goal is to widen the scope for all works that may not make it to our national theatres and to celebrate independent theatre makers,” says Mongezi.

For the inaugural edition, several awards will be presented, including Best Production, Best Director, Best Actor (Male & Female), Best Ensemble Performance, Best Original Script, Best Musical Production, Best Choreography, Best Costume Design, Best Set Design, Best New Script, Best Dance Production, Best Lead in a Musical, Best Support in a Musical, Best Musical Composition in a Play, Best Student Production, Best of Tembisa Theatre Week, Community Theatre Practitioner of the Year, Best Supporting Actor (Male & Female), and a Lifetime Achievement Award. The shows eligible for awards must be independently produced and have taken place at festivals and in theatres across the country. To proactively address any issues that may affect the credibility of these awards, no theatre shows created or produced by TX Theatre have been nominated for this edition.

The 1st Independent Theatre Makers Awards are funded by the National Arts Council in collaboration with other independent sponsors.

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