Artscape has partnered with community, regional and national radio stations across the country to bring the 2020 New Voices Programme to individual South African households as radio dramas over a two-month period from June to August.  The project seeks to give an opportunity to young writers as well as restoring dignity and confidence to those who have been disregarded and under-represented in the past.

The first of the four dramas, Miela’s Box by Tasneem Daniels will debut on Radio 786 (frequency 100.4 FM), Sunday, 28 June at 16:10 with rebroadcast dates to be announced soon.  Directed by Rafiek Mammon it is produced in partnership with NATi, Suidoosterfees and the Jakes Gerwel Trust.

The action-packed drama, stars Zenobia Kloppers, most recently nominated as Best Actress for her role in Fiela se Kind, alongside Gary Naidoo and Liandé Valentyn. It takes place in Woodstock, Cape Town, in the Hendricks house, where two siblings, Shamiela, or Miela as she is fondly called, and her brother Salie, dispute the ownership of the family home and legacy after the death of their father. Add in Salie’s pregnant wife, Baby and the scene is set for some serious sibling rivalry! Baby and Salie want to renovate the house to add a nursery and this enrages Miela, the owner of the house – or is she really the owner? How far will Miela go to hold onto the memory of her childhood, her position as tietie (older sister), and what once was? And all this on the day of their father’s janazah (funeral)?

The New Voices radio partnership acts as financial relief for artists and scriptwriters of this year’s programme to alleviate the absence of live theatre in South Africa due to COVID-19. Equally it serves as a platform to showcase their talent while entertaining South Africans with emerging productions aimed at redressing socio-economic challenges through the Arts.

Says Marlene le Roux, CEO of Artscape Theatre: “We are delighted that radio stations are on board with this programme. People have trusted radio through the years as an honest medium through which to document and tell their stories. These partnerships are vital in keeping Artscape relevant and accessible to all persons across the board during these trying times.”

The four productions viz. Miela’s Box; Die Aasvoël by Elton Louw directed by 7de Laan director, Denver Vraagom;  A Close Call by Ann Juries-May, popular for her current role on KykNet en KIE’s telenovela, Arendsvlei as Claudia Cupido; and Ekugqibeleni by Lungile Nqophiso were selected from scripts, concepts and synopses submitted by young individual artists, theatre makers, directors and storytellers from across the country. The four chosen are representative of the official languages of the Western Cape Province viz., English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa.

The New Voices Programme is an integral part of Artscape mission as an inclusive cultural centre for all, showcasing all arts genres and seeking to develop and give platforms to narratives, aesthetics and language that have been, and still are, marginalized in creative industries.

Further announcements on broadcast dates and radio stations are imminent.