'Zabalaza Theatre Festival' Wraps Up with Awards Celebration

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BYLINE: Arts writer

The Baxter Theatre's Zabalaza Theatre Festival ended with enthusiasm as elated young actors, directors, writers and theatre-makers celebrated its success at an awards ceremony in the venue's Golden Arrow Studio.

More than 200 participants rejoiced with fellow dramatists who received awards in 26 different categories for their achievements at the festival, which showcased more than 40 productions during its seven-day run.

Top honours for best production went to The Champion, written by Khayalethu Anthony. The well-crafted play is performed in English and South African vernacular. Anthony was a winner of the Zabalaza Festival in 2012 and this year, won the best newcomer/breakthrough award (Brett Goldin Award) at the Naledi Awards for his role as Solomon in Solomon and Marion.

On the main programme, the categories and winners were: best performance by an actor: Sinoxolo Cezula in Ibhekile Yothando; best performance by a supporting actor: Zanekhaya Mhlanna in From Hero to Zero; best performance by an actress: Leatitia Solomons in Mathilda Confuse of the not; best performance by a supporting actress: Thandiwe Hona in Imbokotho; best director: Lwanda Sindaphi for Death the Redeemer; best script: Khayalethu Anthony for The Champion; best ensemble: Hungry Road; best visiting production: Thula Thula; most outstanding performer in a visiting production: Lubabalo Mbombela in Hungry Road; best musical direction, Thula Thula; most outstanding artist of the festival: Khayalethu Anthony in The Champion; best newcomer in a performance, Unathi Rorwana in Death the Redeemer, best newcomer in direction: Sisipho Mbopa for Secret Flames; and most dedicated company: Chommiez. …