Chapter 2 Section 9 opens at Baxter Theatre

24.02.2017   According to the South African constitution, the State may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

Joburg-based Sibkwa Arts Centre return to Cape Town after five years, to perform their latest production Chapter 2 Section 9, directed by Phyllis Klotz, at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from 28 February to 11 March at 7.30pm nightly and selected matinees.

The ground-breaking play premiered at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown last year, where it scooped an Ovation Award, followed by hugely successful runs at the 969 Festival, Wits University, POPArt Theatre in Maboneng and the Vavasati Women’s Festival at the State Theatre in Pretoria – all to critical acclaim.

Robyn Sassen from My View wrote, “Phyllis Klotz has crafted a searing play … the tales in this play are told with a burning bluntness and a frankness that is utterly electric.” While Mike Loewe from Daily Dispatch called it “utter brilliance … It’s not good theatre, it’s great theatre … touching, engrossing work.” Further praise came from constitutional court judge Edwin Cameron who described it as “… a powerful, moving and unusual work … derived from scrupulously respectful and careful research … a searing, provocative summons to action.”

Chapter 2 Section 9, refers to that section of South Africa’s constitution guaranteeing the right to gender equality and sexual orientation. This gave rise to the tagline used to describe the play ‘Supported by the Constitution, Betrayed by the World.’

This is a home-coming for Cape Town-born, UCT graduate Phyllis Klotz, artistic director and co-founder of the Sibikwa Arts Centre. She has always been at the forefront of highlighting woman’s issues through performance. She enters into a meaningful engagement with the phenomenon of sexual violence against gender-non-conforming women in South Africa.

Klotz worked at CAP (Community Arts Project) in Woodstock, started the now-defunct New Africa Theatre with Professor Mavis Taylor and the Young People’s Theatre Education Trust. Her work includes Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo (You Strike the Woman, You Strike the Rock), Uhambo and Kwela Bafana. In 2005 she received the Naledi Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the arts in South Africa.

“Theatre is a lived experience – it touches the audience both emotionally and intellectually”, explains Klotz. “With the development of Chapter 2 Section 9, this becomes particularly relevant because the stories are shared by the four performers and it feels as if the audience is part of the experience. It feels immediate and real and I think that this has been a fundamental part of its success so far. It is also an important advocacy instrument.” She continues, “The inclusion of the equality act in the Constitution was globally seen as a victory for the LGBTIQ people. However, despite these progressive laws they are still unfairly discriminated against, too often manifesting itself in the form of violent crimes which include rape and murder.”

Chapter 2 Section 9 is based on interviews with more than forty lesbian women, their families, perpetrators and police officers in order to get their view and understanding of hate-crime. These personal stories, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, interwoven with music, bring a clear message that LGBTIQ persons are still vulnerable to violence and discrimination contrary to the values of our constitution. The characters’ text is taken integrally from the interview transcripts.

The cast is made up of Ayanda Rose Fali, Khanyisa Nanase, Tsholofelo Ross and Ayanda Sibisi (two of whom trained at Sibikwa) and they are accompanied by Isaac Molelekoa, a young musician who composed the original music for the play. Set and costumes are by the award-winning Sarah Roberts, lighting by Stan Knight, with research and interviews by Collen Mfazwe and Janneke Strijdonk-Xulu and translations by Smal Ndaba. Corrective rape, so coined as to ‘cure lesbians’, is on the rise in South Africa.

Theatre has been internationally recognised as a perfect vehicle for change, LGBTIQ education is fundamental to overcome widely accepted prejudice and a play such as Chapter 2 Section 9 addresses these issues, places them in the community, family or school, makes them real, tangible and ultimately acceptable.

Chapter 2 Section 9 previews at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio on 28 February and 1 March, opens 2 and runs until 11 March at 7.30pm nightly, with schools matinees on 2 and 9 March at 11am and public matinees on Saturdays 4 and 11 March at 3pm.

There is an age restriction of 16 years. Ticket prices range from R120 to R150 and booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at http://www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet.

For discounted corporate, block or school bookings, charities and fundraisers, contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993, or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Photo: Ayanda Sibisi in Chapter 2 Section 9, pic 2 by Charmaine Carol

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