• Lance-Selae August

Cultivating excellency at Teksmark 2017

Teksmark 2017, a Kunste Onbeperk project, supported by the Nasionale Afrikaanse Teaterinisiatief (NATi), was held at the Baxter Theatre Centre on 7 and 8 November 2017. The event, now being held for a second time, aims to develop new South African play scripts and gives an opportunity to playwrights to introduce their ideas and scripts to interested parties in the theatre industry. A market for new work, indeed.

Some history:

  • At the first Teksmark held in 2016, five plays were selected to be developed.

  • Die Dans van die Watermeid, written by Amee Lekas was selected by NATi, and is currently showing at the Baxter Theatre.

  • Marina Albertyn’s Melk and Vleis was also developed after Teksmark, and made its award-winning debut at Aardklop.

  • Ingrid Winterbach’s Ons is Almal Freaks Hier will be co-produced by the KKNK and the US Woordfees in 2018.

  • Kleedkamer-blues, written by Ludwig Binge will be developed by NATi for Innibos festival.

  • Rachelle Greeff’s In die Bloed will be presented at US Woordfees in 2018.

Some context:

  • From a pool of nearly 60 applicants, 15 applicants were invited to perform extracts of their scripts, as well as give a description of the content and characters, as well as the script’s themes to an audience of theatre representatives, festivals, producers and potential investors.

This year, a diverse group of writers were invited to perform their readings. Each of these readings were staged in creative ways, some incorporating the use of lighting and sound, and others focusing on the use of creative, colourful and multidimensional props.

Vuurdoop en Heuning – written by Liandi Beeslaar Mensstukke – by Mariska Denysschen After Tears – by Fikile and Atandwa Kani Wag Vir God Weet Wat – by Lise-Marié Richardson DoosTwee – by Retief Scholtz Pop – by Bauke Snyman Die Laaste Afrikaners – by Marcel Spaumer Elusive Spring – by Mike Van Graan The Thirst/Die Dors – by Augusta Zietsman

Swerfgoed - written by Bauke Snyman (to be developed by NATi, Baxter Theatre Centre, KKNK and US Woordfees) In Slavenhuis 39 - written by Herschelle Benjamin (to be developed by NATi and US Woordfees) Rokkie - written by Denver Breda (to be developed by NATi and Suidoosterfees) Offerlam – written by Marina Albertyn (to be developed by NATi and Aardklop) Die Grondgrawers - written by Jason Jacobs (to be developed by US Woordfees, KKNK and Suidoosterfees) Die Meermin-Kompleks – written by Du Toit Albertze (to be presented at Uitkampteater, and further developed by US Woordfees in 2019)

Kunste Onbeperk has mentioned that some of the other plays will undergo further review by AK21, an independent organization, and may be developed further as well.

As an extension to the event, various talks were hosted after the play readings, including an informal sit-down interview with Pieter Fourie, legendary Afrikaans theatremaker. In his discussion he placed emphasis on how theatre has evolved in South Africa, and how hopeful the future of South African theatre is.

Teksmark 2017 was truly a innovative, welcoming space, with influential people within the arts being present. Networking opportunities invited platforms for the integration of skills within the arts sector. Hugo Theart and his team has done a brilliant job of planning this event. Teksmark has again done its part to care and nurture young developing and established writers. We look forward to Teksmark 2018!

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