DUT drama students take Shakespeare comedy to Germany

Philisiwe Ntintili (Bianca) Melusi Buthelezi (Horensio disguised as Licio) from the DUT production Taming of the Shrew that will be travelling to Germany next month. PHOTO: Val Adamson

AN innovating telling by DUT Drama and Production Studies’ students of one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies, The Taming of the Shrew, will be heading for Germany in mid-April as part of an innovative global exchange and research programme to honour the work of Shakespeare.

DUT’s The Taming of the Shrew, under the direction of Prof Deborah Arlene Lütge, will be presented at the 2018 Folkwang Shakespeare Festival from 11 to 23 April. The Festival happens every two years.

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“Our journey to Folkwang Shakespeare Festival in 2016 signalled the beginning of a deep and poignantly touching transition for our Department of Drama and Production Studies. Ours was the first production from Africa to take part in this innovative international Shakespeare project. This second sojourn has been equally transformative,” explained Lutge.

She said the production, which is centered on gender equality, must speak of who we are as a nation.

“We decided in this production to invoke our ancestors to journey with us on this prestigious journey. All the actors in blankets as the play opens represent male and female initiates who are coming-of-age. Once again we have sought to blend multiple South African influences. In transference, our African Shakespeare inevitably inscribes a negotiation of textual translation; a concept that evidences our strong Nguni roots through language, regalia, and cattle skins, and an attempt to carry an authentic African voice further globally through our re-interpretations of seminal classics. A possible analogy for a rainbow nation,” she added.

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 “Each visit we become more conscious of the large debt our journey owes to our German partners who facilitate mounting the play. Our trip to the Folkwang Shakespeare Festival 2018 was facilitated by funding from DAAD (Deutsche Akademischer Austauschdienster). DAAD additionally funded insurance, as well as the study seminar Prof Hanns Dietrich Schmidt will give in Germany with funds from Federal Foreign Office resources,” explained Lutge.

  AUTHOR
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