In the Works: Discussion

ASSITEJ South Africa

  • Format: Webinar/Workshop
  • Duration: 1hr
  • Language: English, with isiXhosa and seSotho
  • Ages: 10+
  • When: 02/07/2020 12:30 pm
  • Recorded: Yes

Young audiences deserve fresh work which speaks directly to their contexts and experiences. They deserve to see themselves onstage.

In the Works is an ASSITEJ SA initiative to take these plays from idea to page to stage. In this conversation, we share an innovative development process for creating new works for young audiences and making sure that they get access to them. Young audiences deserve fresh work which speaks directly to their contexts and experiences. They deserve to see themselves onstage. In the Works is part of a process of incubation which has been spearheaded by ASSITEJ SA since 2014 in preparation for the Cradle of Creativity, 2017, and beyond. It has developed a number of new plays for young audiences, some of which have toured nationally and internationally. This is an opportunity to consider what we need to do to ensure that our young audiences have access to work which can move, inspire and challenge them… even in times of COVID.

Facilitator: Yvette Hardie (Assitej SA Director)
– Leroko Mfono (SA)
– Sanelisiwe Yekani (SA)
– Selloane (Lalu) Mokuku (SA)
– Sandy Asher (USA)
– Kevin Dyer (UK)
– Fraser Corfield (Australia)
– Rives Collins (USA)

Did you miss the discussion? Click PLAY on the video screen below to watch a recording of it.



In the Works is an initiative that seeks to develop new African theatre pieces made especially for children and young people through a combination of international mentorship and direct engagement with the intended audience/s. For Virtual NAF, we bring you the first two plays from the 2020 series:  Zwelitsha by Saneliswe Yekani and Little Fists, Big Heart! by Lereko Mfono.

For more info and to watch the play readings, please click HERE



Rives Collins, North Western University, USA was honoured with a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence Award at Northwestern University in 2017 and is an acclaimed professional storyteller (ORACLE AWARD, National Storytelling Network). He was present at the 2017 Cradle of Creativity where he presented a keynote address on storytelling. He is an active professional stage director, specialising in the development of new work, particularly in theatre for young audiences.

Lalu Mokuku, Rhodes University, SA,  is a theatre maker, writer, researcher and facilitator from South Africa. She studied in Lesotho and South Africa. She co-wrote Dipalo, the ASSITEJ SA Award winning play with U.K. theatre maker and writer Ginni Manning. Her drabble appears in the 2019 English Academy Review (EAR). She currently facilitates learning at Rhodes University’s Drama department, focusing on theatre for social justice, as well as theatre making for children and young audiences. She co-produced with Lali Dangazele an award-winning African adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm for Nobulali Productions (fondly known as Shakexperience™), written and directed by Neil Coppen. Under the mentorship of Makhaola Ndebele, she directed a 100% Sesotho play; Mosali Eo U ’Neileng Eena by Ntšeliseng ’Masechele Khaketla for the Market Theatre, and is a member of Write Local Play Global, the playwright organisation associated with the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ). Her research interests include exploring how the arts can facilitate learning of mathematics in schools and beyond.

Sanelisiwe Yekani is a Performing Arts and Television Studies Wits University graduate. She is a lover of storytelling, art and performance who has been in the industry professionally for over six years. She wrote and directed a screenplay for the Nab’Ubomi Film Foundation in 2010 which received four nominations and an award for its original score. She has also been a performer in three different touring theatre productions around the country namely, William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (2018) by The National Children’s Theatre, Plastocracy (NAF 2017) by The Well-Worn Theatre Company and William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (2016) by The National Children’s Theatre.

Lereko Mfono is a multifaceted writer, performer and facilitator who honed his craft at the National School of the Arts and later studied Applied drama at Wits University-Drama for Life in Johannesburg. He was a Top 3 finalist in the Imbewu Scribe National Scriptwriting Competition in 2013, and was selected into the ASSITEJ Inspiring a Generation programme that led him to travel to France, Paris in 2013 to develop the Standard Bank Ovation award-winning play Narrative Dreams, which went on a national tour and was nominated for a Naledi Award. He also travelled to USA, Washington DC, in 2016 after being selected to take part in The Kennedy Centre’s New Visions/New Voices Festival where The Kids From Amandla Street, enjoyed a staged reading.  He was invited to be  Artist-in-Residence by Ann-Arbor, Michigan based theatre company Spinning Dot theatre in 2017 and was one of the 2019 Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans.