Molao Theo is a stage production about the constitution of South Africa. It centres on the story of Tshireletso Madimabe, a 22-year-old college student who seeks protection against the law. She has been accused of murdering a fellow student, something which she didn’t do. In reality she is being framed by her stepmother (the mayor in her municipality), who is using her political power to destroy Tshireletso’s future. Despite that, Tshireletso finds a way to retaliate.
Writer and Director: Thabo Mabaso
Created by: Bularah Chopo
Stage Manager: Lerato Mafohla
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Born in 1984 in the dusty grounds of Qwa Qwa, Eastern Free State, Thabo Mabaso is a partially blind creative practitioner who has showcased his work (Bed News) at Pacofs Incubator Program (2020) and the National Arts Festival (2021).
In 2016 he was an assistant director for a short film (Blood Brothers) at Motswako Performing Artists where he also served as a drama instructor for their madcamp drama workshop.
He was a mentee at Assitej SA Theatre4Youth training program in 2015. Thabo got training for theatre and play development at Interactive Themba Theatre in 2009 and worked for the company as a peer educator and a performer from 2010 to 2012.
In 2019-2020 he was a Drama instructor at Mmabana Art Centre under The Young Patriots program by NYDÄ and the National Department Of Arts and Culture. Between 2018-2020 he was a Drama instructor under the EPWP Art in Schools Program at Moroka High school and Tlotlanang Intermediate School. From 2017-2019 he was an Actor educator and Artistic Director at RFM ARTS THEATRE, and from 2013- 2015 he ran an Acting workshop at Grahamstown/SASOL National Schools Arts Festival in BLOEMFONTEIN.
Thabo Mabaso was a Cast Member (VIP Guest) at Gold Diggers Netflix Series in 2022. In 2015 he was cast in Skorokoro, a feature film by Phoenix Films and in 2009 he acted in Mrs Mandela, another feature film. Thabo wrote and directed stage productions such as Bed News, which showcased at the National Arts Festival in July 2021 which was sponsored by the National Arts Council. His play, U TURN, ran at the National Arts Festival ArtReach programme in 2016 and the Macufe Cultural Festival. Sweet Bad Dreams ran as part of the Assitej Theatre4Youth programme which toured schools in the North West province. He was the writer and actor in His Story in 2013, and in 2014 he was the writer and actor in Reutlwile at the Market Theatre LAB Community Art Festival. In 2017 he was the Adjudicator at the North West provincial schools arts competition and in 2020, he was Stage Manager of a dance production, Uhambo, by Maureen Setlhare at JPAC Theatre (Botshabelo).
Bularah Chopo is a theatre practitioner whose start in the creative sector was as an actor at Riverside Theatre Production in shows such as Cruel Monster and Himself which were performed at Macufe, Robben Island (Cape Town), and The National Arts Festival amongst others from 2004 – 2009. He further developed his writing and directing skills and created his first production, The Case. This was performed in local and provincial theatre festivals from 2010-2014. In 2015, he founded a Business Arts Production House called Bapala Creative Arts and Services Primary Cooperative. His creative input to the group includes script writing, directing and performing in theatre productions. He also plays a key role in connecting the Bapala group to organisations in the local area, including Save the Children, Free State Arts and Culture Association, Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality, and the University of the Free State Qwaqwa campus including other private entities.
He has worked as a former facilitator in the Free State Department of Arts and Culture, under the Arts in School programme. He was contracted by Motswako performing Artists (Evaton) to work as a junior facilitator at MAD Camp Theatre and Film training in 2016/17, and worked again as a stage manager for the musical production Dark City. He has featured in two films: Hoja Mme A Phela and Blood Brother, both Mzansi Magic local films. He has produced three productions (U-Turn, Madala, and High Poet) to perform at the National Arts Festival, Jika International Festival and Performing Arts Center of Free State (Pacofs). He has written and directed six theatre productions for Save the Children (SA) about Adolescent Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights in 2018 – 2019. He participated in Capacity Training on Directing, Producing, Acting, Stage Management and Scriptwriting in 2018/19 at Performing Arts Centre of Free State (Pacofs). He partnered with AfroMontane Research Unit (University of Free State Qwaqwa Campus), and University of United Nations (Tokyo) on creating and directing The World River Story, about sustainable development and migration, some of which was shot in Japan, in Vietnam and in Qwaqwa.
He is currently producing Kabelwamanong, which is based on one of the best novels to come out of the Free State Province (written by K.P.D. Maphalla). He is also managing day-to-day activities at Riverside Youth Center (Bapala Services).
Melissa Disemelo is a theatre practitioner at Bapala Creative Arts and Services at one of the local youth centres in Phuthaditjhaba, Qwaqwa. Her work includes facilitating acting, choreography and playmaking. She is a graduate of the Central University of Technology (Bloemfontein), and holds a Diploma in Engineering Technology in Civil Engineering. She has been attending workshops at Bapala Creative Arts and Services focused on capacity building, training in acting, directing, scriptwriting and stage management . It was through this work that she got the opportunity to be a part of Motswako Madcamp Theatre Training during the course of May 2021 as a cast member and script writer for Bophelo Production. She was part of the theatrical advertising for the GCIS Vaccination awareness under the Department of Health.
Currently she is cast in Molao Theo “The Bill of Rights”, which has played in Bapala Theatre (QwaQwa), for Homebrew Festival and Phuthaditjhaba Multi-Purpose hall for the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Festival. The production is currently rehearsing for Performing Arts of Free State Artistic Program 2022 and serving the Community Arts Development in Qwaqwa.
Nthabiseng Tsoenyane is an actress and aspiring director. She has co-directed a theatre production Molao Theo ”The Bill of Rights”. She started to develop a passion for acting at an early age but couldn’t get enough exposure until she joined Bapala Creative Arts & Services. In 2019, she was involved in a school theatre production, Taking it back to Sophiatown where she played Ruth Golden. The role earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at HEIPA Festival in Tshwane University of Technology. In 2021, she played a supporting role of the teacher Betty in the film Himself. In that same year, she played the part of Lerato in a Mzansi Magic film, Tshenyeho-Masisapelo. She plays the lead role, Tshirelletso, in Molao Theo ”The Bill of Rights”.
Ntsekiseng Takalo is the administrator of Bapala Creative Arts and coordinates the day-to-day activities of the organisation, from the Riverside Youth Centre. Her creative input to the group includes programmes facilitation, producing children’s plays, and audience development. She also plays a key role in connecting the Bapala CAS to organisations in the local area, including Shandis Records, Free State Arts and Culture Association, Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality, and Maluti Tvet College.
Lerato Mafohla is a performing artist from Qwa-Qwa whose career began as a dancer in various productions in community arts development. He has provided Bapala Creative Arts and Services with stage management and technical services since 2019. He has stage managed further productions like Madala (PACOFS theatre Black season 2019), Kamampela, as well as Molao Theo Production.
His passion for the arts started at a young age, when he acted in ‘Fearless’. As his talent grew, he was cast as a dancer by Rebontsi Dance Production. This production won 1st in the gold section category and 2nd in the Novice Section at Qwa Qwa Dance Festival. This further facilitated theatre and dance classes for young creatives in Maluti A Phofung Municipality.
Lerato has been awarded with certificates and awards including the MAMA awards for best dance crew, being best participant in a crew along with other competitive engagements. His contribution as Technical and Stage Management has grown to include mentoring young stage managers at Riverside Youth Centre.