Physical theatre – usually considered the preserve of fit, able-bodied actors – will give disabled actors the chance to show Witsies “how they view themselves and interpret other people’s view of them”, during March.
Mammatli Thakhuli-Nzuza, MA Applied Theatre and Drama, said this was the intention behind Am I Really, which she directed to commemorate Disability and Human Rights week.
Am I Really explores the internal voices of a group of Wits students living with different disabilities through the use of movement. The Physical Theatre piece challenges the concept of being “disabled” while highlighting the silent disabilities that exist in all of us.
Thakhuli-Nzuza explained that most disabled students were only reminded of their disability when other people treated them as disabled.
“People tip-toe around disabled people. That’s what makes them uncomfortable.”
Thakhuli-Nzuza will be working with choreographer Sthembiso Khalishwayo, a former Witsie who studied physical theatre and performance. The play will be performed by Sisipho Ntengo, Sally-Ann Bafshoe, Zinhle Nxumalo and Jermain George, all Wits students living with disability.
“Art is everywhere and anyone can do it; the different modes of self expression extend way beyond the physical boundaries we have created” said Thakhuli-Nzuza.
She wants to introduce the Wits University community to physically disabled dancers. She also wants to encourage theatre makers to go beyond the ‘ordinary’ when creating work.
Am I Really will be performed at the Wits Amphitheatre on March 15 and 16, 19 and 20 at 7.30pm. Prices are R20 for students and R30 for non-students.
For more information contact Mammatli Thakhuli-Nzuza on firstname.lastname@example.org