UJ Arts & Culture’s interdisciplinary production of Hlakanyana – The Musical, commissioned for the FADA 2nd Year Interdisciplinary Theatre Programme, has received 14 nominations at the Naledi Theatre Awards. The nominees were announced at the at the Joburg Theatre Complex in South Africa on 27 March 2023.
A reflection of the turbulence of the Covid years, Hlakanyana was conceived, workshopped, written, and scored online during the extended lockdowns. Despite the obstacles, the production was completed with the help of creative will and determination on both the parts of UJ Arts & Culture and Madevu Entertainment.
The Naledi Theatre Awards was founded in 2004 and is recognised as the Premier Awards Event on the Gauteng Theatre Calendar.
The musical is an Afrofuturistic retelling of the traditional Zulu folktale, and was produced as an original, innovative, Afrocentric storytelling piece through an interdisciplinary approach. The interdisciplinary programme was reinstated in 2022, allowing Hlakanyana to be produced as intended, debuting on Africa Day.
Pieter Jacobs, Head of UJ Arts & Culture, expressed his gratitude for the nominations and stated that the production epitomizes what UJ Arts & Culture stands for in terms of showcasing new voices and new stories.
“Our production of Hlakanyana epitomises what we at UJ Arts & Culture stand for. Through experimentation and collaboration, we aim to showcase new voices and new stories. It is very rewarding that the hard work behind this production, and more importantly, the determination to create under enormous odds has been acknowledged with these nominations,” he added.
The following are the nominations that Hlakanyana – The Musical received:
- BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
- BEST ORIGINAL SCORE / MUSICAL ARRANGEMENTS
- BEST MUSICAL DIRECTOR
- BEST ENSEMBLE IN A MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
- BEST COSTUME DESIGN
- BEST THEATRE SET DESIGN
- BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
- BEST SOUND DESIGN
- BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
- BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION: FEMALE
- BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION: MALE
- BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION: FEMALE
- BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION: MALE
- BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL/MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
The production has been described as a creative experience that changes how you view your work as an artist, with its creativity, innovative thought, and collaboration, all of which were recognized in the nominations.