° South Africa Project
 
 
 
 
SEASON/EVENTS
Next Onstage. Absurdities: An Evening of Ionesco. Directed by Alan Wade. Feb 20, 21, 22 at 7:30 pm; Feb 23 at 2:00 pm
South Africa Project 2014. Feb 7, 8 at 7:30 pm. Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre
'Twelfth Night' named among BEST OF 2013 by The Staff of DCMetroTheaterArts

More Performances

South Africa Foundation
South Africa Project

Benefit performance featuring youth from the Bokamoso Youth Centre, Winterveldt, South Africa – performing a new play, What is a Child?

Feb. 7th & 8th, 7:30 p.m.
Students/Seniors $10
General Admission $35

800 21st Street NW (two blocks from the Foggy Bottom/GW Metro stop, on the corner of 21st between H and I Streets NW)

For more information: lesliej@gwu.edu

For more information please contact:
lesliej@gwu.edu

FREE WORKSHOP:
Focus: Violence Against Women & Girls – an Interactive Workshop

Thursday, Feb. 6th –in the Marvin Center’s Betts Theatre
Free – Please RSVP at gwomen@gwu.edu

WHERE:
The George Washington University
Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre, Marvin Center (1st Floor)
800 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
(Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro Station, Blue and Orange lines)

This year's 11th Anniversary of the youths' residency at GW will feature performances in the Betts Theatre of the Marvin Center, on Feb. 7th and 8th, at 7:30 p.m. These performances will feature new poetry and dramas created by Jacobson and Barber with the Bokakmoso youth, which offer a vivid picture of the struggles – and the joys – of their lives in Winterveldt. The youth will also perform traditional African songs and dances, with a special guest appearance by the GW Troubadours and the University Singers. The program ends with the audience joining in the dancing and singing.

SPONSORS: GW Department of Theatre and Dance, and the Global Women's Institute, with the support of the Department of Music, the Africana Studies and Women's Studies Programs, and the Multi-Cultural Students Association; and community sponsors, the Bokamoso Youth Foundation, the Seekers Church, and St. Andrew's Episcopal School.

BACKGROUND:
Since the summer of 2003, Professor Leslie Jacobson has traveled to the rural township of Winterveldt, South Africa, with colleague Roy Barber from St. Andrews Episcopal School, to work with the young men and women at the Bokamoso Youth Center, using theatre, music, and dance to address issues challenging these youth and their families in their community, struggling with the realities of poverty: lack of education and employment opportunities; teenage pregnancy; rape and other violent crime; the HIV/AIDS crisis; etc. Created under the Apartheid regime in the early 1950's, and situated about 30 miles northwest of Pretoria, the sprawling rural township of Winterveldt (population of over 700,000), though plagued with many challenges, is actively working to heal and restore its population, with contributions from various civic and religious organizations and private individuals. One of the most effective community organizations, the Bokamoso Youth Center, works with at-risk youth to bring focus and hope to their lives, and to get them into school and training programs.

Each summer, Jacobson, often accompanied by GW students (funded by undergraduate research fellowships), and Barber have developed plays and songs that address social problems in their community. These plays evolve from collaborations with the youth and participating GW students. Since 2004, a dozen youth from the Bokamoso Youth Center have traveled to the U.S. every January, staying with GW students for a week, attending classes, participating in the lives of University students. This deeply meaningful cultural exchange culminates in a performance at the Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre of the George Washington University, to benefit the Center's Scholarship Fund.

The arts can be transformative in their power – and the relationship we have with
the Bokamoso Youth Center is a living example of this power. This documentary,
created by Caroline O'Grady, a theatre major accompanying Jacobson to
Winterveldt in 2009, was funded by a Gamow Undergraduate Research
Fellowship.

Contact Professor Jacobson at lesliej@gwu.edu, for information about
this year's trip.

 

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