Zabalaza Theatre Festival at Baxter

Ongezwa Qalukubona in The Dress. PICTURE: Lesley Mphanga and Imameleng Masitha

The annual Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival, now in its 12th year, runs from Saturday April 2 to Friday April 8, with 32 brand new productions from across the Western Cape.

The festival starts with a family day on Saturday April 2. There will be food stalls, a jumping castle for children and performances for children will run from 9.45am to noon.

For adult audiences, a poetry performance takes place in the Baxter Garden at 5pm and theatre-lovers can watch Shadows of the Past at the same time in the Golden Arrow Studio. RAW (Real Art Wednesdays) returns to the line-up with a platform for performers, in the Concert Hall at 7.30pm.

The 32 productions on the main festival, from Monday April 4 to Friday April 8, with performances at 9.45am, 11am, noon and 7pm daily, were selected from the mini festivals which were held over two weekends at the end of January 2022 at the Delft Rent Office, Kraai4theatre in Kraaifontein and the Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha.

This year’s programme boasts a wide range of content and themes that include negligence in the medical industry, conversations around the influence of media on the sense of self and value, the questioning of religion and dogma, and how the effects of abuse and domestic trauma affects the performance of students at places of education.

The gala awards ceremony takes place on Saturday April 9, where the Best of Zabalaza winner will be announced.

Tickets are R30 a show and available through Webtickets or Pick n Pay stores.

Schools and organisations with group bookings have the option of affordable transportation offered by Golden Arrow Bus services, who support the festival yearly, at R5 a person, for groups of more than 40, with a strict maximum of 60 people a bus. For school or group bookings, fundraisers or charities contact Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or