The Space in B'tween

Space_in_BTween_web03-05 Oct 2013
Student Poetic Drama

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard College Campus) Drama and Performance Studies Programme is proud to present The SPACE in B’Tween - a collectively authored poetic drama.

Over the second semester of 2013, UKZN’s Howard College Campus Drama and Performance Studies has had the enormous honour of hosting Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates from Virginia Commonwealth University in the United States. She has come to the programmes as a visiting scholar and theatre practitioner in an exchange that has seen her not only share her expertise by feeding into the teaching and learning programmes but has seen her work intensively with second and third year senior students. In a guided and workshopped process Dr. T. (as she is fondly called) has been crafting a theatrical production called “The SPACE in B’Tween” that will premiere at the Sneddon Theatre over the 3 – 5 October.

Dr. T. is a playwright, director, actor, poet, writer/scholar-activist and teacher. She has appeared with the Tony Award Winning company in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Broadway production of “For Colored Girls who have considered Suicide / when the rainbow is enuf” performing in both the National and International Touring Companies. Having lived and worked in Seattle for over 23 years, she directed and performed at most of the major theatres in town including the Seattle Rep, ACT (A Contemporary Theatre), the Intiman Theatre, Seattle Group Theatre, Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center, Seattle Children’s Theatre and the Empty Space Theatre. As Director she was awarded an Excellence in Directing Award for “The Grapes of Wrath” by the Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival. She was honored to receive the 2011 PACME and the Rise Melton Award winner presented by President Rao of Virginia Commonwealth University.

A key focus in Dr. T’s theatre work, is the desire to create a space for self-empowerment of the dramatic artist through the creation of original work based on personal story and personal history that actively engages the barriers created by race, class, gender and identity that are often ignored by classic theatre training in the conservatory model. She has definite synergy and a home at UKZN’s Drama programme!

The SPACE in B’Tween is performed in one act without an intermission. It has seven cycles with a prologue and epilogue. In a visual and emotional feat, the play interrogates how our respective identities are formed through the “space in between” - spaces of the visible and the invisible, the places where race, class, sex, gender and cultural continuum intersect and disconnect from one another.

The audience is invited to become “critical witnesses” not merely audience spectators. As a witness, the audience is given an implicit responsibility for what they will see, hear and feel as the stories are revealed in the music, poetry, drama and dance. It is of course up to the audience what you ultimately decide to do with this responsibility? The company of young and vibrant performers goes on a journey and the audience is invited to come along!

“This “work-in-progress” is a poetic drama created using a process called RPD- Ritual Poetic Drama Within the African Continuum. It is a specific methodology designed as a tool for artists to access their creative content, potency and power as artists. In creating an alternative training model with particular interest towards recognition of cultural identity and perspective as essential in the training of the artist, the work intends to bring attention to the artist/as creator of their own artistic expression and citizen/artist with an “engaged” consciousness about the art that they create. In using this methodology in the creation of original work in collective collaboration I hope to continue to challenge ‘traditional’ models of arts training and in the process bring attention and a critical interrogation of ARTS Education, standard practice and training models. But also inspire the dramatic arts industry to actively engage in new ways to transform, educate and empower the communities they serve through applied arts, artistic intervention and activism”.
-Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Ph.D. -


(only available at the box office one hour before the show)
R40 (adults)
R20 (students, scholars and pensioners)


For more information or to set up interviews please contact Dr. T. directly on:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 078 – 518 0463