Artists Indaba and new shows provide buoyant start to PACOFS’ new era

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Artists Indaba and new shows provide buoyant start to PACOFS’ new era

The Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) an agency of the department of Arts and culture is riding an exciting wave of activity, following a successful Artists Indaba last month and built around several upcoming events that confirm its standing as a leading South African performing arts centre.

Hosted the Sand du Plessis Theatre, the flagship theatre of PACOFS Bloemfontein complex, the mid-April Artists Indaba drew province-wide representatives from many different sectors including theatre, dance and music.

Among those addressing the first-ever PACOFS Artists Indaba was its CEO, Teboho Macholo who outlined the new team’s vision to bring in a clean administration with transparency at its core. “We are committed to realising the arts sector as a powerhouse of the Free State economy,” Macholo said.

A rousing welcome was given to PACOFS’ new Artistic Director, veteran actor Jerry Mofokeng. Mofokeng’s vast experience on the ground, as an actor, director and writer, is undoubtedly an important boon for maximising the artistic community’s role in taking PACOFS to new heights.

“We are determined to treat everyone with dignity,” stated Mofokeng, who has been given a five-year mandate at to turn PACOFS into a performance and artistic destination to be reckoned with.

Mofokeng told members of the artistic community that he had a deep-seated commitment to excellence, particularly at a development level. “We know how to make theatre and this must be visible across all levels of what we do,” said the Artistic Director. “It’s about bringing the best of the world to the Free State and taking the best of the Free State to the world. We must create, we must recreate, we must excite and we must tell stories.”

This commitment by Mofokeng and the entire PACOFS team is demonstrated by one of the shows headed to the National Arts Festival this year.

Set to be one of the undisputed highlights of PACOFS’s presence at the National Arts Festival, Grandma’s Song tells an inspiring story of love, music and self-discovery – and heads to Grahamstown following a successful run at the Andre Huguenet Theatre in April 2013.

The show – which was written and directed by Mofokeng – is based on the life of Mantsopa, a powerful prophetess who was believed to hold a gift to see into the future and to communicate with the ancestors. Grandma’s Song follows the journey of a young girl with the gift to heal through music as she confronts a life of loss and recovery.

Among the heavyweight acting talent heading for the Grahamstown production of this important South African theatre event are Bloemfontein-based actor Lebohang Bonyane (Tumahole in the SABC 2 Soapie Muhvango), Tseko Monaheng (a Lesotho actor who was seen in the film Kau La Pooho), Mosili Makuta and Robeka Silinda. The talented Gabriel Stuurman takes the role of music director. The play also consist of other five Free state based artists whom one of them once expressed his glee on the last performance to say he could not believe how he has grown as a musician and has now been introduced and developed to being an actor through this play.

Another demonstration of PACOFS commitment to showcasing world-class, African-rooted talent is the upcoming Africa Day Concert, taking place at the Sand Du Plessis Theatre on May 23rd and featuring Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbuli.

For more information on these and other productions contact: Lelethu on email: Lelethu@pacofs.co.za or 051 447 7771, 079 875 5381

For media interviews, access to high res pics, please contact Maseeta Makgabane maseeta@pacofs.co.za or (079 8756 177) or 051 447 7771 or media@jtcomms.co.za or 011 788 7631

Issued by JT Communication Solutions on Behalf of The Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) www.pacofs.co.za