NAF opens applications for live shows

FINE FEATHERS: Members of the Team Development Centre perform ‘Umntu, Ngumntu, Ngabantu’ (in English, ‘you are because of others’) at the Arts Theatre in Arcadia earlier this year. The show was also performed in the 2019 NAF. Registration for the 2022 NAF is open until end November Picture: SINO MAJANGAZA

Registrations for the 48th National Arts Festival (NAF) have officially opened for the 2022 Live Curated programme.

According to festival CEO Monica Newton, organisers are hoping next year will see the festival returning to its live format after the Covid-19 lockdown forced them to pivot to online.

“It’s been two years of the unexpected and unpredictable; a journey that has taken us into new formats and ways of delivering work,” Newton said.

“We’ve developed skills and forged new partnerships helping us to rethink the festival in ways we maybe wouldn’t have otherwise.

“We are looking forward to a return to our live Makhanda experience.”

While she said they were eager to greet audiences in person once again, they were still proceeding cautiously.

“There will be a plan B and we’re also looking at how we can deliver our live festival in a way that balances safety with the spontaneity that the event inspires.

“Much can happen between now and June 2022, so we’re starting on our planning cycle and adjusting as the environment evolves.”

At the time of writing, registration was only open for shows that fall under the NAF’s Live Curated programme; in other words, finished shows designed for live production.

Artists have until November 12 to submit their proposals online at https://nationalartsfestival.co.za/national-arts-festival-2022-call-for-applications-for-live-work/.

The NAF Fringe programme will be announced separately and registration for online work will open early next year.

“We know creativity and energy surges on and we’re ready to engage with artists about the festival in 2022 after our own learning curves and these months of introspection and challenge,” said NAF artistic director Rucera Seethal.

“We’re planning more artist residencies in Makhanda next year and we look forward to this immersive extension of the festival’s impact.”

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