About 50 young actors will be admitted to the Dr Duma Ndlovu Actors’ Academy (DNA) bridging course to take place every two months from March throughout this year in Botswana. Auditions to select those who will be part of the class will take place on Saturday February 1 at Botho University, Lecture Theatre 2, according to Coordinator and Facilitator, Michael Mosipidi.
Dr Ndlovu, the creator and director of the popular South African soapies, Muvhango, Uzalo and Imbewu will conduct the acting classes that are intended to introduce drama and performing arts students to the television and film acting industry. Dr Ndlovu, also Founder and Managing Director of Word of Mouth Pictures runs DNA Academy in Johannesburg, which has produced some of the leading actors in South Africa, and has been running Masterclasses to empower South African youth for free in Johannesburg Theatre since 2005.
His Academy will now extend the gesture to Botswana youth. Both the course and audition are free-of-charge. “The class will open opportunities for local actors to raise their competency to that of their international counterparts,” Mosipidi says, adding, the aim of this relationship is to expose and export the local talent.
“We believe that the talent of our people can be another strategy in diversification of our economy,” Mosipidi says.Even though preference will be given to those who have studied acting at tertiary institutions, organisers say everyone aged 20 to 30 is free to come and audition. In addition, participants are expected to bring their curricular vitae.
Those who have graduated from acting institutions or are still students of those institutions will be allowed to use monologues for auditions or the Audition Script. Monologues should be from published plays. Recommended monologues are by the following playwrights; Ntozakhe Shange, Athol Fugard, Amiri Baraka, Zakes Mda, August Wilson, Arthur Miller.
Those without qualifications will only use the Audition Script supplied on the day. DNA Academy founded in 2005 is a brainchild of Dr Ndlovu with an intention of bridging the gap between students who have just graduated from performing arts institutions and are willing to enter the acting industry.
Since its existence in South Africa to date, the academy has conducted a successful class of graduates that converted them into focused professionals, ready and responsible enough to enter and do well in acting as a career. In 2017, Dr Ndlovu, through a partnership with Mosipidi and Johnson Otlaadisa of New Look Studios conducted some acting auditions in which three of Batswana actors secured roles as Marang, Nare and Seretse in Muvhango, which airs on SABC 2.