Theatre: New play, DORS brings a message of hope from the Karoo, ATKV High School drama competition, Baxter Theatre, August 2021

What: DORS – staged and performed by Parel Vallei High School, Somerset West Where: Baxter Theatre as part of ATKV High School Drama Competition When: Thursday August 19 at 5pm Duration: 45 minutes Cost: R30  
Direct booking link: Read more about the competition:  

With the pandemic and lockdown, media headlines have tended to focus on load-shedding, poverty and civil unrest in the country.  This does not mean that other burning issues have gone away. Globally, climate change is in the news and in the Cape, we all recall the shocking Ground Zero drought of 2015-2017.  In his new play, DORS (thirst), Darryl Spijkers is putting the spotlight on water scarcity in the Karoo and how ordinary people persevere and remain hopeful and resilient. Spijkers is the drama teacher at Parel Vallei High School and the school is staging DORS on Thursday August 19, 2021, at 5pm, at the Baxter Theatre as part of ATKV High School Drama Competition. This is the Western Cape leg of the competition. The search is on “for the Top 10 school plays in the country.” DORS- written in Afrikaans- received a positive response when it previewed recently at The Playhouse, Somerset West [August 2021] and was praised for “beautifully wrestling with the drought that plagues the farmers of the Karoo.”

Spijkers is thrilled that the school is able to showcase DORS, at the ATKV High School Drama Competition. “The ATKV ‘tienertoneelkompetiesie’ gives our learners the chance to explore themes and challenges that don’t always get the spotlight they deserve. The narrative is told through the eyes of a teenage girl, Hanna de Villiers who lives on Murray Street in Jakkelsfontein, in the Karoo. The text brings in questions about what it means to be a hero in your own time. By, looking back at other stories of brave girls- heroines- Hanna is able to process and understand who she is and this inspires her to find her way through trying times.“ Spijkers adds: “The play is dedicated to the many people of the Karoo fighting the ongoing drought. They are trying to sustain their livelihood, their culture and legacy. Imagine being a youngster staring into the face of so many unknowns- watching the place and people you love suffer – and still coming out on top. Whilst the Karoo is the focus in DORS – this resilience can be seen in many different South African contexts. I salute them and hope to provide hope from the sacred place we call the stage.”

The role of Hanna is performed by Juné Kruger, a grade 12 learner at Parel Vallei High School. When she leaves school, she hopes to further her studies in performance. She says that her favourite scenes in the play are when she “gets to run with her sheep portrayed by a versatile ensemble of girls.” Spijkers says: “She executes her role with believability and aplomb.”  Kruger reflects: “One of the most special moments of the play is when we get to hear how famer’s wives felt when they received gift packages from Boks vir ‘n Boervrou.” [This organisation provides farming folk with relief care packages. Parel Vallei High School was involved with collections for the organisation.] “It makes me feel a sense of humility and gratitude. It makes me proud that projects such as Boks vir ‘n Boervrou exist, with South Africans showing kindness and care and donating items to women in farming communities who do not have money for essential items such as sugar and definitely not for coffee and extras such as deodorant and other self-care products.”

In writing the play, Spijkers, says he drew inspiration from Afrikaans literature, music and traditions: “I looked at the portrayal of the voortrekker women and the re-imagined them as maternal figures from history who watch over sheep and children of today. Another influence for me in writing the play, is the iconic poem by Breyten Breytenbach: Seisoen in die Paradys (A Season in Paradise).” [The poem was published in 1976 and was written after his first visit to South Africa, after an absence of thirteen years in exile. The ‘paradise’ he hoped for, is a very different reality – from multiple geo-political aspects.] A shout-out to Parel Vallei High School, Darryl Spijkers and the 16 young women in the cast. They are engaging with issues and images which we all need to consider, in a time when so much else is going on; grabbing our attention.

DORS – written by Darryl Spijkers and performed by learners at Parel Vallei High School, Somerset West is on at Baxter Theatre, on August 19, 2021, 5pm, as part of ATKV High School Drama Competition.
DORS – staged and performed by Parel Vallei High School, Somerset West

Where: Baxter Theatre as part of ATKV High School Drama Competition on August 19, 2021, at 5pm. Bookings for all the shows are at Webtickets.    

#DORS #Drought #ATKV #ATKVSA #Tienertoneel #Boksvirnboervrou #Baxter #Parelvalleidrama #Burreburger #JuneKruger            

Sponsored content. This interview has been marginally edited for length and clarity. Images supplied.