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Artscape, one of the most productive theatre centres in the country, has announced an innovative partnership with award-winning playwright Mike van Graan.

“This will see the Artscape Theatre Centre staging at least one of the writer’s works in each of the next three years. According to the agreement, Artscape has first option to produce or co-produce new works by Van Graan and to stage his works that have not been staged in the city before. One such example is Brothers in Blood (produced by the Market Theatre), that scooped the Naledi Theatre Award for Best New South African Play produced. Over the next three years Van Graan will be known as Artscape’s Associate Playwright. He will benefit by enjoying access to rehearsal space and other forms of infrastructure support for staged readings of plays like Green Man Flashing that is aimed at schools that have prescribed the play, the development of new works-in-progress and the touring of appropriate works. “My day job requires much travelling and attention to other projects. I am therefore extremely grateful to have this relationship with Artscape. It allows me to plan my contribution as a playwright rather than continue with the adhocracy of the past,” says Van Graan, who coordinates Arterial Network, a continental network of artists, cultural activists and creative enterprises present in more than 25 African countries. “Artscape is delighted to be piloting this kind of partnership,” says Michael Maas, Artscape’s CEO. “We see tangible mutual benefits for ourselves and for the playwright whose plays like Dinner Talk, Mixed Metaphors and Die Generaal have previously been staged at Artscape with great critical success. “Artscape is committed to serve the people of Cape Town and the Western Cape, but we would also like to have an African footprint and to serve as a platform to project African and South African performing arts into the global market. We believe that we can benefit from Mike’s networks and experience in this regard,” says Maas. The first project of this new partnership will be an Artscape production of Van Graan’s reworked Is it because I’m Jack? at the Fringe of the forthcoming National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Issued by Afrikom on behalf of ArtscapeMedia enquiries:Mike van Graan, Tel: 021 465 9027/8 or Cell: 082 900 3349Frikkie Odendaal, Afrikom, 021 423 7263″

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