Tag Archives: NTN

Boet & Sus – The Play That Will Pioneer Live Stream Theatre in Namibia

The Coronavirus crisis has had a devastating effect on the performing arts the world over, with no exception to Namibian theatre, but in the words of the iconic band Queen, “the show must go on.”

Since the start of the pandemic, many theatres have been streaming theatre productions on various online platforms and even premiering shows on these platforms. Boet & Sus, from writer and director Lize Ehler’s will be the first live-streamed offering from the National Theatre of Namibia in its 2019/20 theatre season under the Premier programme.

The show, previously scheduled to premiere on 23 April 2020, was postponed after national coronavirus regulations closed theatres and prohibited public gatherings. Now, with things gradually getting back to normal, the show is back and this time with a determination and in the words of of Ehlers, the cast and crew of this production are incredibly charged and excited for how it will turn out.

“Rehearsals are tough for actors who wear masks or face shields but we are taking all necessary steps to make this work, safely,” Ehlers says.

Boet & Sus, which stars Ehlers, Adriano Visagie, Rodelio Lewis and Roberto Menneguzzo, is a multimedia theatre production that melts the commonalities and differences between “kallids” coloureds and drag queens in present Namibia. The part talkshow-part-dragshow is in Afrikaans and English and features live musc from Imms Nicolau.

“I hope the audience sees how important it is for us to embrace ‘kallid‘ and drag culture and see how important representation of minorities is,”

On the look and feel incorporated in the production, Ehlers highlights that turquoise and white have always been staple colours in the “kallid” community and that she wanted to honor that.

Lize Ehlers during rehearsals (Image: NTN)

“I wanted to stay authentic to the story by only casting coloured actors. Adriano Visagie plays Boet aka Alaska. Rodelio Lewis plays Miss Mavis & Roberto Meneguzzo plays Gigi has Arrived. I play Sus. It is a necessary story of friendship & kinship that cuts through a community of prejudice and ignorance,” Ehlers explains.

Ehlers says she was inspired by her own life experiences, the lives of her coloured drag performer colleagues, friends and family, including Netflix’s Pose.

Adriano Visagie rehearsing his role as ‘Boet’ (Image: NTN)

“It is because the queer community is so brave and creative that we see the urgency and need in telling these stories. As an ally, I see it is as a necessity to tell the stories of our ‘kallid‘ and queer communities in Namibia.”

The creative team is also made up of Marchell Linus as Choreographer, Martin Amushendje with Video Documentation support, Miss Jey Arts as Make-Up Artist and costumes by Ingo Shanyenge.

The tickets, dates and times of the show are yet to be announced. Join the online Theatre Talk on the National Theatre of Namibia’s Facebook page on 18 August 2020, at 18h00 to meet the creative team and cast, and learn more insights into the production.

The Cast & Crew back for rehearsals (Source: National Theatre of Namibia)

NTN Opens Submissions For 2021/22 Theatre Season

The National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) announced the open call for scripts, artistic works and production concepts for the 2021/22 theatre season, inviting storytellers, writers, directors, choreographers, performers, designers and interdisciplinary artists to submit innovative works to be staged for local audiences.

The NTN seeks for powerful works, that bring forth refreshing narratives for audiences from different walks of life. The theatre encourages works in local languages, and submissions from communities which are underrepresented in theatre – both on and off stage. Artistic experiences that have something critical to say about the world we occupy today are also encouraged.

Artists from all across Namibia are welcome to submit for productions such as plays, performance art, concerts, dance productions and digital installations.

Submissions are open for the following programmes:

NEW MAKERS’ PROGRAM- (For newcomer theatre makers: writers, directors, performers)
OUTREACH PROGRAM- (Community & Applied Theatre)
CO-PRODUCTION PROGRAM- (For emerging and established theatre makers & artists. Funded in cooperation with an external producer)
MAIN PROGRAM- (For experienced and professional theatre-makers and artists)
LIVE ART PROGRAM- (For experimental and performative/ digital works by newcomer, emerging and professional artists).

All approved works will be produced by the NTN and feature as part of the season that will run from August 2021 – July 2022.

The call for submissions closes on the 20th of July 2020, 16H00.

For more information and an application form, visit the National Theatre’s website.

NTN Calls On Freelance Artists To Submit Works

The National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) is calling on Namibian freelance artists and creatives to submit their works to the theatre for a flat fee of N$1 000 after the realization of their proposed works.

According to the theatre’s Artistic Director Nelago Shilongoh, the project, titled ‘Impact of Covid-19 in Namibia: Artistic Responses and Creative Interventions’ is a financial relief project for freelance artists and creatives who have been left vulnerable due to the various interruptions in gigs and projects following the lockdown.

Shilongoh says the call-out is also aimed at facilitating the voices and perspectives of Namibian freelance artists, activists, creative and cultural workers, on the experiences, concerns and fears that citizens are faced with at the moment, with the impacts of Covid-19 in Namibia.

“We are calling on creative, informative or therapeutic works that reflect the theme: ‘Human Rights Implications amid the Covid-19 Pandemic in Namibia’. With this theme, we want to encourage those in the arts and cultural sectors to join in on the national conversation and perhaps propose policies to our leaders as well,” Shilongoh explains.

The project is open to all creatives from various art disciplines, including, but not limited to;  performances, storytelling sessions, readings, essays, visual designs, poetry, creative writing (blogs), innovative protests, hosting of talks, lectures, interviews, opinion pieces, etc.

NTN’s artistic director Nelagoh Shilongoh (Images: National Theatre of Namibia/Facebook)

“We are trying to be as flexible as possible for the several types of proposals that will come from the artists, activists, creative and cultural workers. It is not limited to performing artists only,” Shilongoh adds. “It is also important to keep in mind that applicants should be as innovative as possible as all works have to comply with the regulations set by the government during and post lockdown.”

Shilongoh further explains that the works will be featured on digital and alternative platforms by the NTN. Additionally, the NTN will not own rights to any of the works, as all intellectual property and copyright will belong to the applicants. The role of the NTN is to simply facilitate the process of important voices, assist with the accessibility of the works to the public.

“We are proposing that the applicants create their works within the comfort of their homes and possible means, and not to spend too much money, as only N$ 1000 will be granted for the artists to cater for some of their day-to-day needs,” Shilongoh adds.

To apply to this project, you need to complete an application form which can be requested by emailing prod@ntn.org.na

Closing date for application is Friday, 08 May 2020, 16H00.