Imbilini… my friend!a brand new South African play, written and performed by Bulelani Mabutyana, starring Siphenathi Mayekiso, directed by award winner Mdu Kweyama, debuts at Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, June 9-25, 2022, 7:30 p.m. with Matinees of Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
A FRIENDSHIP IS TEST IN ‘IMBILINI… MY FRIEND!’
Powerful, powerful and funny, physical theater for two explores trust, empathy and being the other.
A deep and deep friendship is tested between two young men who have to deal with the problems of poverty, alcoholism, prejudice, society’s beliefs about albinism and the harshness of city life. , so many challenges for the link between the two.
Imbilini… my friend! was selected from a cohort of 10 creatives who participated in the Baxter Masambe Playlab, a four-month writing residency held at the Baxter last year that offered writers time, space, peer mentorship and financial resources to create new work, as part of Baxter’s Platform for Special Talent program.
Developed and framed under revered writer and director Lara Foot, Mabutyana and Mayekiso wrote Imbilini as an ode to their friendship, an ode to protection amid society’s distorted beliefs about albinism.
They navigate Mayekiso’s daily experience of albinism in a society that simply knows too little about the condition and how alcohol becomes a crutch to cope with the difficulties faced by young men in South Africa. Mabutyana protects his friend and worries about his safety.
The duo is led by Mdu Kweyama (invisible boxing, The Goat, or who is Sylvia?, Reza de Wet has disappeared), who is curator and artistic director of the Baxter Zabalaza Theater Festival.
Kweyama recently directed Shadow Boxing which received praise from audiences and critics alike. He received the Naledi Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Original Choreography for Karoo Moose in 2008.
He is a Fleur du Cap winner for Best New Director and in 2013 he won Best Director at the Setkani Festival in the Czech Republic for his adaptation of Mike van Graan. Blood brothers.
ON THE CREW
Bulelani Mabutyana, an acting graduate of Magnet Theatre, is a past recipient of ICA’s Emerging Directors Program.
He appeared in the adaptation of Heart of Redness by Zakes Mda directed by Mark Fleishman and in Running away with Gold Fish by Brink Scholtz.
Earlier this year, Mabutyana joined the Baxter Zabalaza Theater Festival team as a coordinator to help mentor festival productions and continues to help develop young theater makers. He is a former Baxter Best of Zabalaza winner for his production of The worst of both worlds which was released as a playscript.
Siphenati Mayekiso is also a graduate of the Magnet Theater training program. In 2013, he joined the Garage Dance Company in Okiep under the tutelage of Alfred Hinkel.
As a freelance performer, he has done puppet work for UNIMA South Africa and held workshops for the Magnet Theatre’s Culture Gangs project. He acted as stage manager for various productions and appeared in the short film Nommer 27, which won two awards at the Kyknet Silwerskerm.
In 2021, he starred in Trapped, a brand new piece by the Unmute Dance Company that challenged the “trapped mindset” society uses to stereotype people living with disabilities.
HOW THE PIECE WAS CHOSEN
In 2017, The Baxter launched an innovative playwriting residency, a lab space for new writers to create and develop new plays under the guidance of a playwright with the goal of developing a full play. It is in this space that Imbilini… my friend! was chosen to be developed and mentored by Baxter CEO and Creative Director, Lara Foot.
Imbilini… my friend! takes place at Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from June 9-25, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. every night, with matinees on Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. There is an age limit of 13 years.