KASI Stories: Stories not Often Told is at the Hexagon Theatre at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg campus at 6 pm on Thursday, April 28. Tickets R60 at the door.
Kasi Stories: Stories not Often Told tells the story of Xola and Thabo’s friendship. We see the two young men at different stages of their lives though the play, as the boys move further apart economically it’s their shared reality of failed fatherhood which both hold their friendship together and threatens to tear it apart. Kasi Stories asks pertinent questions about the failure of the father figure in the South African context.
This project is the brainchild of theatre maker Benjamin Bell. After participating in several regional schools festivals in 2015 in South Africa, Ben was shocked to see how little representation there is on stage of the realities of the lived experiences of many young black men.
The black young poor man is painted with the heaviest of brushes as the villain, the criminal, the rapist, the idle and the untrustworthy. The bad rap this substantial group of our population receives from the media works to reinforce these crudely drawn stereotypes.
By negatively reinforcing these half-truths and whole lies, the young black male gets forgotten, but what is his story? Let us not dictate to him, let us not ignore him until it’s too late. This project aims to give a voice to the so often voiceless, let us listen, let us engage, let us activate and forge new narratives.
Ben has collaborated with two young black actors in an intense immersive rehearsal process over a three month period to bring you Kasi Stories:Stories not Often Told.
The guiding question is What Does it Mean to be a South African Man? This question will underpin the exploration of this so often forgotten world influences the nature and methodology of the field work research and ultimately the creative shaping of this piece of work. The piece will be underpinned by a heightened sense of physical play as we revisit and redefine what is truly new South African Theatre.