DUT’s ‘Chronicles of Jack’ takes a wry look at the student experience

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Ace (Muzikayise Mtshali) and Jack (Sbonelo Nzuza) in a scene from ‘Chronicles of Jack’, which is at the DUT Courtyard Theatre on August 18 and 19. Photo: Supplied

A NEW play, which takes a wry look at the experiences of a young student from rural Eastern Cape, will be staged at the Durban University of Technology’s Courtyard Theatre in Durban on August 18 and 19.

Chronicles of Jack, which has been written for DUT by Mbasa Tsetsana (Waiting for Nelson), offers a new perspective of a student from a rural area adapting to city life and of being part of an urban campus in the Fees Must Fall generation. Expect plenty of social complexities, clashing ideologies and a tussle between tradition and self-discovery.

The play, directed by DUT drama student Sphephelo Dlamini and Dr Pamela Tancsik, is performed to a soundtrack of African traditional songs, and newly-composed original numbers.

It will star DUT drama undergraduates, giving them the chance to experience an intense, high-impact rehearsal process. The whole project will take 10 days from start to finish will, with the rehearsal process itself scheduled to take only 48 hours.

The concept will allow participating students to have a taste of life in a post-academic world with challenging industry-appropriate deadlines. It also aims to encourage focus, concentration, commitment, resourcefulness and efficiency.

Dlamini, who also composed the original music, is a final year student at DUT’s Drama and Production Studies department, and says he has always wanted to change the world through the arts.

“I have always wanted to be an actor, since from my childhood,” he said. “I grew up with passion of changing the world. That was and is a bold idea, but I believe, that through the arts, we are changing the world every day.

“I personally believe that theatre is where people get educated and it is where people express how they feel about the society they live in. They also talk about what other people are afraid to speak about, and be the voice of the voiceless.

“For the past three years I never thought that I would one day be able to tell African stories through dialogue on stage, well theatre has allowed me to. I am particularly excited about the time challenges of this project: theatre as speed dating!”

Tsetsana is a theatre actor, writer and director from East London. He acts and writes for the screen and has written, directed and staged six plays.

He has acted in a number of stage productions including, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys, Morountodun, directed by actor and director Andrew Buckland and Red Shoes, written and directed by Leila Henriques. His debut in television came with his supporting role as Mxolisi, on e.TV’s miniseries, The Alliance (2016).

Doors open at 6 pm. Tickets are R30 (R20 students) at the door. For more information contact Lebohang Sibisi at 031 373 2194 or email lebohangs@dut.ac.za

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