Scene from ’Another Kind’. Picture: Supplied
Scene from ’Another Kind’. Picture: Supplied

Amy Louise Wilson's 'Another Kind' to showcase at NAF

By Alyssia Birjalal Time of article published Jul 7, 2021

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Local performer and writer Amy Louise Wilson’s award-winning play, “Another Kind” will showcase at this year’s virtual National Arts Festival.

This 360-degree virtual experience is an adaptation of her play, “Another Kind of Dying”, which won the 2020 Distell National Playwright Competition, which followed the journey of Silumko, who moves from rural Eastern Cape to Johannesburg after the loss of his father.

Wilson’s work was set to stage physically in Makhanda, but because of Covid-19 she was forced to change the stage performance to virtual.

“From the death of conventional theatre staging imposed by Covid regulations, we conceived a live-curated work for streaming via this year’s festival’s digital channels,” said Wilson.

Local performer and writer Amy Louise Wilson. Picture: Supplied

The new format invited artistic collaborators – from actors to directors to collage and sound artists – to take part in a six-week creative lab to bring the story to life in an experimental process which spanned multiple media and disciplines.

“Another Kind” is the adaptation of her original script.

“In one way, it’s intended as a funeral for a play that could never be staged. But it’s also an exciting celebration. It marks the birth of a new, multimedia, hybrid experience which asks the questions: ’what can theatre become in this new world?’ and ’how can we make sure storytelling survives?’, she said.

“Another Kind of Dying” told the story of Silumko, who moves from the rural Eastern Cape to Johannesburg after the death of his father.

“It’s a coming-of-age story about identity, perceptions of patriarchy and masculinity in South Africa, and the burdens they impose.

“But it is as much about a shedding of expectations and the joy that emerges from living a new life on your own terms.

“We have tried to mirror that in the way the new work has been created.”

“Another Kind”. Picture: Supplied

Wilson’s NAF work builds on and breaks apart the original script across a series of short, filmed performance and sound pieces.

“The online archive for this process will be activated through a series of live-streamed performances.

“These part-scripted/part improvised performances are to be presented as a live-typed essay that frames the narrative and provides context on the process – basically a ‘scrolling tour’ through the archive of filmed pieces.

“For me, it’s a thrilling way of giving audiences an intimate view into ’another kind’ of process – a meeting of textual fragments, recorded rehearsals, as well as performance and sound experiments.

“The project has transformed the script from a single-authored work to a co-created story told by multiple voices.

“The idea is to challenge and extend the formal limits of live collaboration and theatre.”

Another Kind” will be live-streamed via Zoom on July 15 at 7pm, July 16 at 4pm and July 17 at 7pm.

For more information and to purchase tickets at R40 per person visit National Arts Festival.

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