On stage: Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival – the 11th edition of the annual festival -is on from March 20-27, 2021

What: Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival When: March 20 to 27, 2021 Where: The Baxter Theatre Centre- on-stage Tickets: R30 Booking: Webtickets Programme: http://www.baxter.co.za/zabalaza2021

Here we are in Covid- the 2nd year. The year 2020, largely brought live performance to a halt, with some action when pandemic rates allowed for limited attendance. It is wonderful news that the Baxter is able to present its annual Zabalaza Theatre Festival from March 20 to 27, 2021.  Tickets will be limited to 100, or less, depending on the venue, as regulated under Level 1 during the national lockdown. Covid protocols will be in place – hand sanitisers, tracking and tracing, temperature checks, mandatory wearing of masks and practicing of physical distancing. Patrons advised to arrive at least 45 minutes before the start of the performance to allow for signing in, temperature taking etc.

The week-long festival opens with Zabalaza Weekend on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 March – with performances, activities and entertainment. The Main Festival is from Monday 22 to Friday 26 March, with shows at 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am and 7pm. An awards ceremony will be held on Saturday 27 March.

The 2021 Zabalaza festival is dedicated to the memory of Zoleka Helesi. The dynamic artist was a founder and co-ordinator of Zabalaza. She was person with enormous charisma and was vital part of the Zabs team. She was also a brilliant performer. “The tragic passing of Zoleka in December 2020 has left a huge void, not only to her friends and colleagues from the Zabalaza and Baxter teams, but also for the arts in South Africa,” says Baxter CEO and artistic director, Lara Foot. “She played a vital role in linking schools with the festival, exposing thousands of learners from various communities to the magic and power of theatre, on a scale that they may not have had before. Her legacy serves as an inspiration to these young artists, theatre-makers, communities, audiences and all of us.” The Zabalaza 2021 programme: http://www.baxter.co.za/zabalaza2021

Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival 2021: Camron Mckinnon, Nelissa Modimola in Vortex. Pic: Star Zwane. Supplied.

Image credits: Supplied. Featured image: Ngxaki Sandisiwe Qaji in Deadly Escape. Photo by Star Zwane.