“Okay it’s art but is it fresh?” This has been the recurring question for the secret jury tasked with nominating the best of the Cape Town Fringe over the past 17 days and then deciding on the final winners.
According to Executive Producer Ashraf Johaardien, the all-new Cape Town FRESH Awards are about both amplifying and archiving artistic excellence and outstanding creative output on the Fringe platform.
“On behalf of the National Arts Festival, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to adjudication panel of the newly launched Cape Town Fringe FRESH Awards. By the close of this year’s Cape Town Fringe Festival, between them, they will have seen each and every one of the over 80 productions on this year’s programme, a herculean effort given their busy schedules and the voluntary nature of the engagement,” Johaardien said.
“Their discussions have been robust, deeply nuanced and carefully considered. I thank them for their expert input and rigorous engagement with this important process of recognising and rewarding artistic excellence and outstanding creative achievement.”
On the final morning the Fringe, Johaardien (@ashrafj) took to Twitter to reveal the adjudication panel as follows:
- Tracey Saunders (@curiousgyrl) Tracey Saunders was convenor of the panel. She is an arts writer and activist who believes that the nexus between the performing arts and social justice is the fulcrum upon which a healed world will turn.Tracey is a member of the NAF artistic committee,serves on the boards of local theatre organisations and the Fleur Du Cap Awards Panel.
- Motlatji Ditodi (@MotlatjiD) is an award-winning actor, theatre director, and voice over artist. She is best known for playing Detective Sindi Mhambi on SABC 3’s flagship show, “High Rollers”.
- Paul Griffiths (@paulgriffiths) is Director of The Waterfront Theatre College. He is also a freelance producer and award winning director. He is a trustee of the Imbewu Trust and facilitates the ScRibe New Writing Competition.
- Gabriella Pinto (@Gabriella_Pinto) is a writer, presenter, actress and content creator She’s a regular contributor to the online Creative Showcase Between 10 and 5, has presented an Arts and Culture programme on Cape Town TV and is currently working on a web-series showcasing local theatre.
- Faye Kabali-Kagwa (@faye_kk) is a Ugandan-South African who spends her time weaving in and out of Cape Town’s creative scenes. She has recently fallen back in love with theatre, and this is where she spends her working life. In the future Faye would like to create spaces for conversations using are as a mediator.
- Steve Kretzmann (@kretz) The online arts publication The Critter was established by Steve Kretzmann and Mike Loewe in 2014 as an excuse to continue making the annual winter pilgrimage to Grahamstown, which he has done 18 times now. He has also covered the Amsterdam Fringe and all three editions of the Cape Town Fringe. He has received gold in the opinion and reviews categories in the NAF/BASA Arts Journalism Awards in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
- Jonathan Swart (@Jonathanswart) is a performer, choroegrapher and teacher and Talent Manager. He is presently part of the management team at Gaenor Artiste Management, one of SA’s top artist agencies.
- Wendyl Martin (@WendylMartin) is an arts writer at bi-weekly Cape Town newspaper Weekend Argus. He covers a variety of arts and leisure for the newspaper and is studying towards an MA in Digital Journalism.
- Shihaam Domingo (@shihaam) is a publicist, artists consultant, production and events management. She is driven by connections that encourage authenticity and supporting young tallent in the theatre and music industry. She is currently working on District Six Kanala and Wordfees, and is a trustee for the Ghoema Music Awards.
- Atiyyah Khan (@Atzushka) is an arts journalist. In 2010 she was awarded the Pulitzer Scholarship to pursue her Masters in Arts Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She was one of the founding members of music collective Future Nostalgia and currently freelances as a journalist documenting visual arts,music, film and other forms of culture in South Africa.
- Sarah Roberson (@therobe54) is based in the peacefully-paced Eastern Cape as a freelance writer. She learnt about drama and dance from the experts at Rhodes University (the UCKAR) and has worked in the theatre industry in various capacities for the past nine years. Sarah joined The Critter team in 2012, annually covering the NAF and has covered the CT Fringe since its inception.