[PLAY] Three Women (Break the Silence)

Jul 21, 2019

Paving the way for Women’s Month this August, ILRIG is partnering with international theatre-makers and artists from Johannesburg’s renowned Market Theatre Laboratory to bring stories of women activists to community stages across South Africa. The play, Three Women (Break the Silence), tackles women’s distinct experiences of vulnerability, exposure, and community within social movements.

“Break the silence,” a call protesting gender-based violence in South Africa and across the world, evokes the extent to which silence, misrepresentation, and shame pervade discourses around African gendered and sexual experiences. Activists’ lives are often shrouded by silence to increasingly devastating effect. Within movement themselves, even those organizations that are committed to gender equity can stifle the participation of women and non-binary people on the basis of race, class, and sexuality, among other intersections of marginalization.

The play, Three Women (Break the Silence), confronts this dynamic, telling the stories of members of Remmoho (a women’s group established within Johannesburg’s Anti-Privatisation Forum – APF – which existed from 1999-2011). A work of documentary and verbatim theatre, Three Women takes its shape from freedom songs, field notes, and interviews conducted by Omotayo Jolaosho, a cultural anthropologist who worked with the APF in 2009 and 2010.

In collaboration with Jamaican-born director Vernice Miller, artists of Market Theatre Lab make up the play’s Very Vocal Ensemble. Together, they address what it means to find one’s voice amidst gendered repression. These concerns have risen to prominence in political debate and public discourse, particularly within the past year with the rise of #MeToo and #TotalShutdown. Three Women reminds us that safety, security, and bodily freedom are long-standing issues, and that it remains critical to listen with empathy and further gender-inclusive dialogues on these concerns.

We are privileged to bring the play to activist communities across South Africa. A full production of Three Women will tour in Johannesburg (July 24-28), Cape Town (July 31-August 4), and Durban (August 5-10). With the aim of fostering creative spaces for gender-inclusive exchange and inquiry, our run in each city will include a workshop with interested activists and members of partner organisations to explore the play’s themes and surface ideas for further action. In doing this work, they are furthering the continuum of South Africa’s liberation strategies as it lives on in stories, songs, and movements of freedom. Join us.

Schedule of Performances In Johanesburg (Cape Town & Durban TBA):
Venue: located at 3748 Drieziek 1, Orange Farm
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Hosted by the Orange Farm Human Rights Advice Centre
Venue: located at 8344 Mokoena Street, Ext 2 Dobsonville
Thursday, July 25, 2019
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Hosted by Gauteng Civic Association
Venue: 2nd Floor space – Hereengracht Building 87 De Korte Street, Braamfontien
Friday, July 26, 2019
12:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Hosted by Gauteng Civic Association
Venue:96 Knox Street, Germiston)
Saturday, July 27, 2019
10:30 AM 12:30 PM
Hosted by the Casual Workers Advice Office/Simunye Workers Forum
Schedule of Performances in CAPE TOWN
August 1st:
Community House 41 Salt River Road Woodstock
4pm – 6pm
August 2nd:
Makukanye Theatre Room in Khayelitsha 117 Bida Cres, Site B Khayelitsha
6pm – 8pm
August 3rd:
Performance/Workshop with CSAAWU in Agter Paarl
1pm – 3pm
August 4th:
Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Observatory 26 Wesley Street, Observatory
6pm – 8pm
Schedule of Performances in DURBAN:
August 6th Austerville Community Hall 6 Percy Johnston Road, Wentworth
10am – 1pm
August 7th Siphumelele Hall, Mfundi Mngadi Dr, KwaMakhutha Hostel
10am -1pm
August 8th Thokoza Women’s Hostel 306 Dr Yusuf Dadoo Street Durban
10am – 1pm
10 August
Bat Centre No 45 Maritime Place, Victoria Embankment, Durban
6pm – 8pm
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes (followed by a 30-minute q&a)
Age Recommendation: 12+ years

Production information
Playwright: Omotayo Jolaosho
Director: Vernice P. Miller
Stage Manager: Gift Nwokorie
Producer/Liaison: Dale McKinley (for ILRIG)

Lesego April Chabedi
Siphesihle Lerato Dube
Biokobo Masibi
Ncumisa Ndimeni
Molebogeng Onica Phiri

Website: www.threewomen.org