KTDA Blogs

Keep The Dream Alive (KTDA)

To create a play, one has to see it before it happens and must believe in the dream of creating the play. One may not achieve that dream alone and we had to work as a team to see how the play is going to look like.

Therefore, the responsibility of being free to think and create was proven to me by this project. It is perhaps in this freedom that one can find truth whatever that truth may be. As a team we had to work towards this truth that is perhaps made up by different truths, which will hopefully be our ultimate truth as a group when it is all done. 

A story can be told in different ways, telling a story can be in a form of drama, song, dance or through a piece of art.  Keep the Dream Arts’s Tshala project did not limit us nor ask of us to use one medium. In fact, one could safely assume that the only prescription was to use art in its broadest and widest sense. We work with dance, acting, music and visual art in our workshop journey as we find our stories and what would become our final performance presentation. 

I had an opportunity to work with eight individuals in order to go through the journey of creating a play in a workshop process space. These participants are part of the group that I teach drama at Alex Arts Academy. As we had our first meeting together at University of Pretoria, Javett Art Museum, each one had their perspective as we reflected on the work that was created by visual artists. 

From there on I knew that part of my journey will have to allow these different voices to emerge while finding the play, because it will not be completed if I just present a finished production. The nature of the project is that we use museum art work as a pretext catalyst for our workshops and journey into the final presentation of a play.

Almost all of the participants of the are new in the arts and this was their first time putting a show together. The theme of our work is ‘Abstraction’ therefore we had to explore this concept as a group through sitting in the gallery and looking at the work abstract artworks displayed at the Javett Art Centre. A work that is not easy to understand at times without understanding where it comes from but also work that allows you to form opinion of what you see. This freedom of opinion is what allowed us to start forming our on work and ideas. 

This work that we are created looked at African spirituality, ideas of beauty, gender-based violence, using African story telling which has song, dance and acting.

As the result this process was one of a journey to self-discovery by participants and myself as a facilitator. We discovered and told stories together. This process is not the same for everyone and means different things for different individuals for different times. Some participants understood the journey to be therapeutic, others as an interesting theatrical experience while others it a was a first step to start appreciating of visual arts. 

However, even if there were differences by the virtue of having individuals that come from different upbringings, different education and so on, it meant the direction of the process had to be sensitive and awaken to these differences. In order to be able to find the common primary goal of the art whichever form of art it may be- it is all about expression. 

Anyone that is going to see the show will see many different stories portrayed in one story. This is our journey as a group and as Covid-19 interrupts with our storytelling, that becomes part of our story too, as art is about reflection of the world.
By Masiza Mbali.


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