NATi Jong Sterre / Rising Stars Programme for Upcoming Playwrights

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation (JGF) invites aspiring playwrights to apply for a three-week scriptwriting mentorship programme. Successful applicants will be jetting off to Paulet House in Somerset East to work on their plays that will premiere at the 2023 Suidoosterfees.

The NATi Jong Sterre / Rising Stars Programme, which focuses on skills development as well as the nurturing and promotion of young, upcoming talent, is a collaborative project of leading players in performance arts: NATi (National Afrikaans Theatre Initiative), the Jakes Gerwel Foundation, Suidoosterfees, Kunste Onbeperk and Artscape.

Applications for the programme must be submitted via email to the executive director of the Jakes Gerwel Foundation Theo Kemp: by 27 May 2022.

The application must include:

  • A fresh, new play or an extract of a new play in Afrikaans or English
  • A short CV of the applicant
  • A motivational letter for applying to participate in the programme.

Please note: No plays that have been staged previously, or that have already gone through a process of script development or mentorship will be considered.

The names of the successful applicants will be announced on 24 June 2022, after which:

  • The selected applicants will travel to the Foundation’s idyllic Paulet House with its sweeping gardens and creative atmosphere in Somerset East in the Eastern Cape to receive mentorship from 25 July to 14 August 2022.
  • Well-known actress and theatremaker Lee-Ann van Rooi will guide and mentor applicants to develop and refine their scripts.
  • The Rising Stars plays will be further developed with respected playwright and theatre producer Rafiek Mammon overseeing the individual projects and stage management for final production at the 2023 Suidoosterfees.
  • The playwrights will get the opportunity to stage extracts from their plays at the Teksmark of Kunste Onbeperk, the presenter of the KKNK.

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation will cover participants’ travel costs to and from Somerset East, as well as their accommodation, catering and tuition at Paulet House. The Suidoosterfees will carry, with the support of NATi, the production fees to stage the theatre pieces. And finally, Artscape will lend support in the form of rehearsal space, decor, props, costumes and technical help.

The support and mentorship offered to talented individuals needing a helping hand honour the legacy of the late Professor Jakes Gerwel who played a key role in creating the Suidoosterfees, an initiative which promotes inclusivity in the arts. The Jakes Gerwel Foundation continues Professor Gerwel’s contribution to society through projects promoting education, the arts and culture as well as social justice in South Africa. The historic Paulet House was donated to the Jakes Gerwel Foundation after the passing of Professor Gerwel by his wife, Phoebé Gerwel, with the specific aim of transforming it into a writers’ house.

NATi is a non-profit organisation, focusing on the promotion of inclusive Afrikaans theatre for the benefit of the broader South African arts sector.