Double-bill shows will leave food for thought

Clockwise, from back, are Anthea Juries, Devon Swartz, Cohen Erasmus, Abdulatief Davids and Lithetha Dweli, who are all part of Mama Cry.

Divine Services (DS) Productions is hosting two performances over two consecutive nights at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone.

The productions – One Man Stand and Mama Cry – will be on stage on Monday November 27 and Tuesday November 28, respectively.

Both productions were written by Dennis Stander.

Mr Stander, who is one of the two directors of DS Productions, said both productions deal with “searching for identity”.

He added that the two nights of live entertainment features thought-provoking and emotionally-charged performances that will leave the audience “deeply moved and contemplating the complexities of life on the Cape Flats”.

One Man Stand is a reflective comedy that delves into the life of a young man growing up on the Cape Flats and his quest for self-identity. He faces diverse challenges that force him to make life-altering choices. It’s a poignant reflection on the challenges of masculinity in a society plagued by violence, addiction, inequality and the ills of patriarchy.

Mama Cry is a multi-faceted drama which deals with different characters in our community. The cast are all from Manenberg and Gugulethu, who have been searching for an avenue to express themselves. As an actor and writer, I have been involved with various productions over the years and in February this year, DS Productions started. Devon Swartz and I are the directors of DS Productions. We decided to create our own work and we are trying a different methodology, which includes, among others, reflective comedy,” Mr Stander said.

He added that this double-bill event offers an opportunity for groups or organisations dealing with drug addiction and mental health to find inspiration in the arts and a chance to see how powerful storytelling can be in addressing these challenges.

Apart from staging performances, DS Productions also hosts classes for those interested in the performing arts.

“We did a master class where we delved into character-building, identity, and owning your story. The outcome of this was that after three months, the participants shared their own stories. There is power in storytelling. We also make it clear to the participants that we not only want to develop them as artists, but also as entrepreneurs. We have a voice – not to break down – but to build each other up.”

He called on other organisations to partner with them to create “spaces without prejudices” to deal with social ills such as gender-based violence and drug abuse, in the form of drama therapy.

Tickets for both nights are R150. Call 081 323 1812 for tickets.

Dennis Stander wrote both One Man Stand and Mama Cry, which will be staged on Monday November 27 and Tuesday November 28 at the Joseph Stone Auditorium.