Joburg Theatre Youth Development in partnership with The Performing Arts Fund (PAF) presents Brecht’s classic play entitled The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Addressing Bertholt Brecht’s Epic Theatre, Verfremdungseffekt and Gestus!
Reminding the audience that hey we’re watching a performance! Back in 2016 for the matric syllabus, The Caucasian Chalk Circle is set in a play-within-a-play structure, which helps promote the use of Brecht’s epic theatre techniques. In a made-up town, Grusinia, a government expert is sent to sort out a land dispute between two groups of farmers.
The farmers decide to put on a play, the Caucasian Chalk Circle. The play follows two stories, that of a kitchen maid, Grusha, who has a big heart and a strong will for Justice; and that of Azdak, an ‘oddball’ Judge. The Caucasian Chalk Circle can be seen as relevant to today’s South Africa and to some extent to any society in the world. The themes include government corruption, land disputes, the gap between the rich and the poor, child neglect and women abuse, in the midst of other socio economic issues constantly seen in news headlines almost every day.
Although there are heavy topics presented throughout the story, such as assassination, child neglect, and totalitarianism, the tones of the scenes are almost always meant to be humorous. Various accents are kept close to contemporary South Africa, without changing the meaning in Brecht’s original text. Brecht’s sentiment that the audience should arrive at a decision to change the world they live in, and not walk away with a feeling of mere catharsis are kept in the play.
The audience will be drawn to the South Africa of today, while listening to the text in the way Brecht intended, but with familiar accents that one might find in South Africa’s contemporary surroundings. The Performing Arts Fund is a company of young performers who have an aspiration to study their craft further. The main objective for the group’s formation is to raise Tuition funds, which will assist students in their endeavours to study the performing Arts and to encourage young artists to pursue the arts academically.
The long term goal of the group is to ultimately create a foundation that will help future South African Film and performing artists/student with their tuition fees.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 877 6867