Applications open for Zabalaza festival

From left are Akhona Shinga, Khayelethu Anthony, Asandiswa Maliti in Iqonga. Picture credit: Junior Sithembele

Theatre-makers, directors, script writers, community groups and theatre companies have until the end of July to send in their applications to participate in the Baxter’s 2019 Zabalaza Theatre Festival.

Those selected will be auditioned and invited to participate in the Zabalaza mini-festivals, planned for the last two weeks of November this year, when the final selection for the 2019 line-up will be made.

The auditions, however, will take place from July to October this year, so artists are urged to apply early.

The festival organisers are looking for one or two-handers, children’s theatre productions, puppetry, musical theatre, drama, comedy, physical theatre and storytelling.

“We would strongly encourage women writers and directors to apply as the festival provides the perfect platform for young, upcoming theatre-makers to share their stories with a wider audience,” Zabalaza Festival curator, Mdu Kweyama, said.

Previous participants can apply, but must submit a different production. Those who auditioned before and were not selected can reapply by auditioning with the same production, provided they can show they have worked on improving it.

Previous Best Production winners are Uhlazo by Loyiso Damoyi (2011), Worst of Both Worlds by Bulelani Mabutyana (2012), Skierlik by Phillip Dikotla (2013), The Champion by Khayalethu Anthony in 2014, Paul Noko’s Fruit (2015), Lauren Hannies’ TIP-ex (2016), Thobani Nzuza’s Boy Ntulikazi (2017), and most recently Carlo Daniel’s Onweer in 2018.

These productions went on to be staged at various festivals and events in the Western Cape, working with well-known theatre-makers.

Skierlik received two Fleur du Cap nominations and Khayalethu Anthony won the Fleur du Cap award for Best Performance in a review, cabaret or one-person show for The Champion.

Entry forms are available from the festival office at the Baxter Theatre Centre, Main Road, Rondebosch or at Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha, Zolani Centre in Nyanga, Delft Rent office and Joseph Stone in Athlone.

They can also be downloaded from or

Entries are also welcome from outside the province, but available funding will determine how many applicants are accepted.

Contact Zoleka Helesi on 021 680 3980, fax 021 689 1880 or email or or visit for more information.