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Proposals for the second Kunste Onbeperk Teksmark (Script Market) can now be submitted. All playwrights are encouraged to submit their scripts or script ideas by 3 July 2017.

The first Teksmark was presented at the Baxter Theatre Centre last year. This initiative provides an opportunity for playwrights to introduce their script ideas to arts festivals, theatres and other investors for possible further development. The aim of Teksmark, presented in collaboration with the Nasionale Afrikaanse Teaterinisiatief (NATi) and the Baxter Theatre Centre, is to develop new South African scrips for the stage.

“Teksmark is not a competition, but rather a market for new theatre scripts; one where playwrights can discuss their work. We hope that this will result in representatives of festivals, theatres, producers and sponsors investing in the development of playwrights whose scripts can be presented as productions in future,” says Hugo Theart, Creative Head of Kunste Onbeperk.

Proposals are evaluated by a panel and a selection of scripts are then presented at Teksmark on 11 and 12 September 2017. These writers will have an opportunity to pitch their script ideas, and a short excerpt from each chosen play is presented as a play reading. “Although complete scripts are welcomed, we expect only a few written pages, with a proposal which elaborates on the story, characters and themes of the script,” Theart explains.

“Last year 14 scripts were presented at Teksmark. Die dans van die watermeid by Amee Lekas was chosen by NATi and the Baxter Theatre Centre to develop, and debuts in September 2017 in the Baxter Studio, under the direction of Jason Jacobs. Melk en vleis by Marina Albertyn, also presented at the first Teksmark, is being developed by the Aardklop National Arts Festival, with additional scripts considered for development in 2018 by the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) and other festivals,” Theart says.

According to Cornelia Faasen, CEO of NATi, the organisation has remained involved in Teksmark due to last year’s success. “Everyone in attendance last year can attest to the almost magical moments that took place. Kunste Onbeperk identified a big gap in the industry and is actively doing something to fill this gap. Everyone with an interest in theatre benefits from this.”

Faasen says Teksmark also provides an opportunity for industry role-players to get together and share in the excitement of new ideas away from the everyday cycle of applications, selection processes and financial pressures. “Playwrights must take advantage of this opportunity.”

Lara Foot, CEO and Artistic Director of the Baxter Theatre Centre, says they are delighted to once again host this dynamic and crucial initiative at the Baxter Theatre Centre. “Great writers and good scripts are hard to come by. We have an obligation to identify outstanding playwrights and scripts, to develop and invest in the writers and their work. Teksmark is a vibrant, nurturing and enriching experience for all involved, bursting with relevance and creativity. I look forward to this year’s harvest,” Foot says.

Script proposals must be submitted to Theart at hugo@kunste.org.za before Monday, 3 July 2017 at 12:00. The script title, a description of the content and characters and thematic context must be included. Although completed scripts are welcomed, performable extracts of at least ten minutes are the minimum requirement. Any enquires in this regard can also be directed to Theart.

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