Literary icon Can Themba (widely known as writer for DRUM magazine) is remembered through Khayelihle Dom Gumede’s production of Themba’s Crepuscule. Gumede is the third 2012 winner of the Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary, presented by Theatre Arts Admin Collective, GIPCA, the Baxter Theatre Centre and Distell.
Crepuscule is an adaptation of literary giant Can Themba’s short story of the same title. The play, much like the short story, charters a fictional interpretation of a real life love affair between Themba and a white woman, ‘Janet’, in Sophiatown during the 1950’s. Set in the often revered and romanticised world of Sophiatown, the play uses this relationship to ask whether we are products of our environment or if we choose who we want to be. A story about human connection and a search for freedom and humanity, this production is an ensemble-based treat; with poetry of language, movement and song forming its rich presentation. In the tradition of several recent revivals such as Farber’s Mies Julie and Kerfoot’s Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act; this high energy, fast-paced production takes a look at a time much closer to who and where we are today, than we would like to admit.
Khayelihle Dom Gumede recently completed a BA in Dramatic Arts at Wits University, majoring in Directing, Performance and Writing. His directing credits include The Complete Works (2010), Can Themba’s Crepuscule (2011/2012), the main production of the Highfield Theatre Festival, When We are Naked (2011), Finding Nemorena (2012), Tilt (due to premier at PopArt in 2012), Paul Slabolepszy’s Over the Hill (2012). Gumede is the Festival Director and Co-ordinator of the WALE (Wits Art and Literature Experience) Festival 2012, as well as the curator and Festival Director of ‘Sneak Peeks Festival: The Jozi G-Town Experience’ at PopArt. Gumede is also the Artistic Director of Co-Lab Express, a new, young theatre company operating in association with UJ Arts Centre. He has written productions for Ipelegeng Community Centre, has performed and conducted workshops for the Sasol Schools Festival, and is currently engaged with field work for the Market Theatre. Recent awards include an Ibsen Award, for which he directed the South African adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, produced by Chisa and the Market Theatre, performed in Zimbabwe and due to tour South Africa.
Can Themba was posthumously awarded The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for “Excellent achievement in literature, contributing to the field of journalism and striving for a just and democratic society in South Africa.”
Featuring Kgomotso Matsunyane, Glen Biederman-Pam, Mikkie-Dene le Roux, Anele Situlweni, Luvuyo Mabuto and Nobuhle Ketelo; Crepuscule will run at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective (cnr Wesley and Milton Streets, Observatory) from 9 to 13 October 2012 at 7:30pm nightly.