As the statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes was dismantled at the University of Cape Town, eight students wrote The Fall, charting their experiences as activists who brought down a statue and then grappled with decolonizing what was left standing in its wake: the legacies of race, class, gender, history, and power 24 years after the official end of Apartheid. Political and deeply personal, vibrating with song, dance, and the energy of youth, The Fall comes to DC with the urgency of history being told as it’s created, resonating with America's debates about falling monuments, rising tuition, and “appropriate” ways to fight for long-promised equality.
Runtime: This performance will run approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes with no intermission.
Environmental Warnings: Please note that this performance features water-based haze, violence, and sudden loud noises.
The Fall is generously underwritten
by Susan and Dixon Butler.
Ameera Conrad has achieved international acclaim as a writer, director, and performer. She has worked with theatre stalwarts and new artists alike including performing in What Remains by Nadia Davids, directed by Jay Pather; Clare Stopford on The Fall; and South Africa’s first all-female Taming of the Shrew, directed by Tara Notcutt. Conrad was also one of the recipients of the 2016 Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary, where she directed her self-written piece, Reparation—which has subsequently been performed at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival on the Arena Programme. In 2018, Conrad played the title role in Lolly (a one-woman show which she co-wrote) at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunsteefees Uitkampteater, where she was nominated for Beste Uitkamp. Conrad is an alumnus of the 2017 Lincoln Center Theater Directors’ Lab in New York, and a co-curator, co-writer and performer in The Fall. She is also a twice-published playwright; The Fall is currently in its third print, and Reparation was released in early 2018. Television credits include the American television series Blood Drive (Season 1, Ep 3: 2017) and ICE (Season 2, Ep 8: 2018). Conrad graduated with distinction from UCT’s Drama Department in 2015 as a Theatre Maker (Honours). She is one of the co-founders of the woman-centric theatre collective, The Furies, and is represented by Samantha Bernhardi Artist Management in South Africa.
Sihle Mnqwazana is an international award-winning actor, influential speaker, and published playwright. In 2016, he co-founded Age of the Artist, an online platform focused on making theatre accessible and self-sufficient. Through his work, he is actively changing the single narrative of Africa, telling our very diverse stories on a global platform. Germany, Senegal, the UK, and the United States have all experienced stage performances by Mnqwazana.The 25-year old is currently on a world tour with The Fall, a production he co-wrote and performs, published internationally by Oberon Books. On camera, he can be seen in the feature pilot Rise of the Phoenix (2016), directed by Mark Dymond and Nic Franklin. Mnqwazana also worked on award-winning short films including Alzheimers & Ice cream (2018), Three Doors Down (2017), 20 Minutes Tops (2016), Speedtrapped (2016), and #Revolutionaries (2015). In 2017 Sihle delivered a conference paper and coached a third year acting class at the University of Cape Town. Sihle offers drama workshops to the youth of the Community Development Foundation in the Western Cape. He served three years as an ambassador for the Nal'ibali reading initiative for kids. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mnqwazana holds an honour's degree in Theatre & Performance from the University of Cape Town. As an actor, Mnqwazana signed with Samantha Bernhardi Artist Management; and in the UK he is represented by Lisa Richards Agency.
Oarabile Ditsele is a triple award-winning actor, theatre-maker and published playwright. Ditsele’s debut into professional acting was Woza Albert! (2016), directed by Fleur Du Cap winner Mdu Kweyama, which played to critical success. He has toured Africa and, recently the UK, performing material that he created: Connection to Home in Senegal and The Fall in Edinburgh and London. As an alumnus of the University of Cape Town's Drama School, Ditsele has performed in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, Grootboom and Chweneyagae’s Relativity, Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good as Major Ross and South African theatre classic Woza Albert! (Ngema, Mtwa and Simon). Ditsele is part of five-member group Baikitsi Arts Collective and a resident actor for the emerging theatre network Age of the Artists.
Sizwesandile Mnisi is an actor, singer, dancer, writer, and director. Mnisi works in both theatre and film, performing in Germany, Senegal, Scotland, the Royal Court in London, as well as New York. He was in Woza Albert at the Baxter Theatre in 2016, directed by Fleur Du Cap award-winning director Mdu Kweyama. Mnisi also performed in Nwabisa Plaatjie's Identirrhaging, produced by Age Of The Artist for the 2016 youth month. Sizwe is one of the writers of the multi-award-winning play The Fall produced by the Baxter Theatre. In 2017 and 2018, Sizwe played the role of Siya in Marc Lottering's Aunty Merle The Musical, written by Lottering and directed by Lara Foot. Mnisi's work is afrocentric and seeks to challenge perceived notions about black masculinity and black male identity. He graduated from the University of Cape Town's drama school in 2015.
Cleo Raatus is a United Kingdom and South African-based actor, singer, and writer. In 2016 he had his professional theatre debut in The Fugard Theatre’s smash-hit musical District Six – Kanala, directed by Laurence Olivier and award-winning director David Kramer. That same year he co-wrote The Fall and curated and performed in the music revue Some Days alongside Tankiso Mamabolo and Sizwesandile Mnisi. Raatus has performed roles from the titular role of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus to various roles in Howard Barker’s Wounds to The Face— both productions directed by Geoffrey Hyland. His most recent roles are Siya/Qumbela in Jon Keevy's The Underground Library, directed by Koleka Putuma; Marco Adonis in Reparation written and directed by Ameera Conrad; and Prodo in Scenes from an Execution, directed by Clare Stopford. Raatus earned a distinction in acting when he graduated with a BA (Honours) in Theatre and Performance in 2015 from the University of Cape Town.
Tankiso Mamabolo is a singer, Fleur Du Cap award-winning actress and dancer from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. She has performed in BlackDog/ Inj’emnyama at the Baxter, directed by Clare Stopford; and Titus Andronicus, directed by Geoffrey Hyland. In 2013, she performed alongside Gloria Bosman and Kate Normington at the annual Arts and Culture awards, and later performed in a musical cabaret alongside Cleo Raatus at the Voorkamerfees. Mamabolo also played Thando in John Kani’s Nothing But the Truth, directed by John Kani; and was seen in Marat/Sade, directed by Jaco Bouwer, at the Baxter Theatre Centre. In 2017, Mamabolo played the lead role of Mother in the first run of the musical Calling Us Home and most recently she performed in Marc Lottering's Aunty Merle The Musical, which earned her a Fleur Du Cap nomination for best supporting actress in a musical. In 2011, she won the Arts and Culture Trust Performing Arts Scholarship, and graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2015 with a BA (Honours) in Theatre and Performance.
Zandile-Izandi Madliwa is an actress, vocalist, dancer, activist, and writer. She was born in Langa, Cape Town, and began performing as a presenter for SABC 2’s Just Chill at the age of 12. Her love for musical theatre began in high school where she played a Doo Wop Girl in Little Shop of Horrors. Madliwa landed her first acting professional job as the lead character for When We Were Black’ Season 2. Later she was featured on the MNet movie called On the Ropes. She has performed at the Market Theatre in Songs from Jazztown dedicated to South African jazz musicians. Her first international role was in the Netflix Original Series Black Mirror where she played a supporting role. She was later cast for her first international musical tour based on the life of Miriam Makeba, where she played Miriam’s only daughter. Madliwa has been nominated for best actress at the 48Hr Cape Town Film Festival in 2016, recently finished shooting a Netflix movie called The Kissing Booth, and was featured on KykNet’s Die Boekklup. Madliwa joined the cast of The Fall for the Edinburgh Theatre Festival where the cast won two prestigious awards— a Fringe First Award and a Stage Award for acting. She rejoined the cast in 2017 at the Royal Court in London, and again in March 2018 in New York at St Ann’s Warehouse and The State Theatre in Pretoria. Madliwa has also been part of Marc Lottering's musical production called Aunty Merle, The Musical which will pick up again later this year. Madliwa was awarded the Baxter Theatre Centre’s 2017 Young Artist of The Year Award. Her most recent venture has been entering the stand-up comedy scene where she got the incredible opportunity to open for South African comedian, Shimmy Isaacs. Madliwa majored in Acting at the University of Cape Town.
Thando Mangcu is an actor and theatre-maker born in New York and raised in Johannesburg. She studied and completed her BA (Hons) in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is currently completing her Master's degree in Dramaturgy at UCT after having completed a six month exchange program at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). In her final university year she created Lüderitz, The Credit Gone Away Affair (Supervised by Mark Fleishman) and co-wrote Don't Shoot The Harbinger (supervised by Mark Fleishman and Clare Stopford) which won the 'Most Promising Writers' award at the 2015 National Grahamstown Arts Festival. Her directing includes Pieces, a Fleur Du Cap nominated play (‘Best New Director') that was devised during her time as a TAAC Emerging Director's Bursary recipient (supervised by Caroline Calburn). She has also collaborated with Sizwesandile Mnisi and Sihle Mnqwazana to create Delayed Replays, which was performed at the Centre for African Studies (CAS) Gallery in 2017. Most recently, she has worked alongside Welsh playwright Chris Harris as a textual dramaturg for his play, Loving You in a Single Brain Cell staged as a reading in the University Theatre at the UvA. In 2016 she co-wrote and co-curated The Fall, which was produced by and staged at the Baxter Theatre Centre. In 2017 the play won the ‘Encore’ award at the Fleur Du Cap Theatre Awards and toured internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Royal Court Theatre in London and St Ann's Theatre in Brooklyn. In this time the play has been shortlisted for the Amnesty Award and won The Scotsman Fringe First and The Stage Edinburgh Cast awards.
Kgomotos Khunoane is an actor and creator whose work includes The Fall (Baxter Theatre Centre, writer and original cast). A 2015 graduate of University of Cape Town, Khunoane performed in The Segull and Cincinnati directed by Jacqui Singer; Monna Ga Se Nku directed by Sizwesandile Mnisi; Woza Albert!, West Side Story, and No Good Friday directed by Gareth Dry; Wale Nation directed by Rone Herbst; Mephisto directed by Chris Wear; and Welcome to Thebes directed by Clare Stopford, who served as the facilitator for The Fall. He was also in the film Whip the Chef.
Clare Stopford’s directing career spans 35 years. Under the mentorship of Barney Simon, she established a signature as an emerging director and feminist. She was Resident Director of the Market Theatre Johannesburg in 1988 and 1989 and later appointed to Associate Artistic Director in 1997. Auteuring most of her early work primarily around women’s issues in The Patchers and The Last Trek, Stopford then went on to create some landmark productions at the Market Theatre like A Doll’s House, Burn This, Hysteria, The Heidi Chronicles, Skylight, Scenes from an Execution and Kafka Dances by Timothy Daly, the latter two winning her the Best Director awards provincially and nationally. In the last 16 years, Stopford has largely dedicated herself to developing new South African plays by directing them as often as she can. She was responsible for the first production of Mike van Graan’s successful and much studied Green Man Flashing, the first version of Lara Foot’s Solomon and Marion (then called Reach) and Bongi Ndaba’s Shreds and Dreams which became a television drama. Recently for the Baxter Theatre, Stopford directed Purgatorio, Blue/Orange and Scenes from an Execution. In 2014, she was appointed Senior Lecturer in the Department of Drama at the University of Cape Town. She has directed students in The Crucible, Threepenny Opera, Welcome to Thebes, Widows, Black dog/InJ’Emnyama, Langalibalele, and the self-written Bands of Women.
Puleng B. Mabuya is a senior stage manager currently working for the Baxter Theatre and living in Cape Town, South Africa. Her work in Theatre includes Child Made of Love at the Tron Theatre (United Kingdom), Cooking with Elvis at the Tron Theatre (United Kingdom), The Umbilical Cord at the Debate Chambers (United Kingdom), Black History Month at Old Fruit Market (United Kingdom), NONGOGO and Fishers Of Hope in South Africa, Vienna Arts International Festival (Austria), Edinburgh International Fringe Festival (United Kingdom), Grahamstown International Festival (South Africa), and International Dance Festival (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Television credits include Scandal - E TV; Isidingo - South Africa Broadcasting Cooperation, SABC3; and Gaz' Lam - SABC1. Mabuya is a graduate of The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow (United Kingdom), and studied at the Teaterhogskolani Lulea (Sweden) and Market Theatre Laboratory (South Africa). She is the recipient of OISTAT World Congress of World Stage Design in South Korea: 2009 (Seoul).
Kelsey Sapp has been Studio’s Assistant Production Manager and Company Manager since October 2017. She is an AEA Stage and Production Manager. She has worked as a Production Manager at Rubicon Theatre and Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival in California. She also served as the Artistic and Rehearsal Coordinator at Houston Grand Opera. In the UK, Sapp worked as a Production Manager at The National Theatre, Hijinx Theatre, and the Richard Burton Company. As a Production Stage Manager, she has worked at Forestburgh Playhouse, Texas Repertory Theatre, and Millbrook Playhouse. Sapp is the AEA Stage Manager for the Studio X production of The Fall. She has a BFA from Sam Houston University and has her Masters from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Michael Maxwell’s theatrical career started at the Market Theatre in 1976, where he worked in many capacities: stage manager, production manager, international tour manager, actor, lighting designer, and acting teacher at the Market Theatre Laboratory. Between 1992 and 1996, he was the Manager of the Market Theatre Company where he produced many award-winning productions and collaborated on many of the late Barney Simon’s productions. He has been nominated for and won numerous Best Lighting Design Awards, of which highlights include: Kafka Dances, Scenes from an Execution, Yelena, Woza Albert, Triptych, and Sezar and Molora. As an actor he has worked extensively in theatre, film, radio and television. Theatre acting credits include Hello and Goodbye, Broken Glass, Royal Hunt of the Sun, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Dybuk, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Lady’s Not for Burning, and Arms and the Man among others. Film roles include Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys. He won a Johannesburg Critics’ Circle Award for his performance in Brighton Beach Memoirs, and was nominated as Best Actor at the Naledi’s for Hello and Goodbye at the 2009 Naledi Awards.
Marisa Steenkamp studied at the University of Stellenbosch and later worked there as junior lecturer and technical assistant in theatre. She is the deputy stage production manager at the Baxter Theatre Centre with extensive experience as senior stage and production manager, a position she has held since 2012. While freelancing at the Baxter in 2003 she worked on productions such as Bootjie and the Oubaas, Amadeus, Betrayal, and The Syringa Tree. Steenkamp has toured with various productions to most of the South African arts festivals and other theatres in the country. These include John Kani’s Missing… and Shirley, Goodness and Mercy at the Market Theatre, William Kentridge’s Magic Flute at Artscape and the Joburg Theatre. At the Fugard Theatre she stage managed Athol Fugard’s The Train Driver, Bird Watchers, Die Kaptein se Tier, and Broken Glass. Internationally she has toured with productions of Lara Foot’s Hear and Now; Reach; the Baxter and RSC collaboration on The Tempest; Showboat; Mandela Trilogy with Cape Town Opera; and John Kani’s Missing…, . Recent productions include Remembering The Lux, Aunty Merle The Musical, Blue/Orange, Marat/Sade, The Fall, and Endgame. She styled the costumes #JustMen, Fishers of Hope, Blue/Orange, Authori(s)e and The Fall.
Patrick Curtis is a multi-award-winning lighting and stage designer with a career in the theatre that spans over three decades. In 2012 alone, Curtis was nominated for three separate Fleur Du Cap awards in set design for Did We Dance: The Sinking of the Mendi, Doodsnikke, and Mies Julie as well as for lighting design for Did We Dance: The Sinking of the Mendi. He has also toured extensively to renowned theatres around the world with Baxter touring productions as a designer and in his role as Baxter Theatre Production Manager. He designed Scrooge, Missing… , Fishers of Hope (for which he received a Naledi Award), Blue/Orange, Born in the RSA, Karoo Moose, The Inconvenience of Wings, Scenes from an Execution, Aunty Merle The Musical, #JustMen, and Endgame.
History as it Happened: The Fall