7de Laan Supports Local Drama Talent

Make sure you don’t miss the SABC2 7de Laan episode of 14 May 2014 when emerging actor Thabiso Newman (from Knysna) and actress Samantha Pienaar (Riversdale) are set to make their acting debut in the television series.

Thabiso Newman and Samantha Pienaar with actor Theodore Jantjies (Xander in 7de Laan).
Thabiso Newman and Samantha Pienaar with actor Theodore Jantjies (Xander in 7de Laan).

7de Laan producers have been working with the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) for the past three years, creating a platform for young writers, actors and directors from rural areas to work with professional actors and directors in front of television cameras. Earlier this year, Newman and Pienaar were crowned as Best Actor and Best Actress respectively at the Eden/ Cape Winelands Drama Festival in Cape Town. They were also awarded the opportunity to stage their work at Suidoosterfees, Zabalaza Festival and Absa Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK) this year.

The 21-year-olds’ enthusiasm for drama knows no bounds. Not only have they started drama groups in their communities, but they also wrote, directed and acted in their plays. Pienaar says it was an amazing experience to audition for a short role on 7de Laan.  “When we arrived on set we started interacting with every actor and actress, asking questions and taking ‘selfies’ at every moment.” Newman was grateful for this opportunity, which has inspired him to dream bigger.Their advice to young people is to dream big and work hard to realising dreams.

Moeniel Jacobs of DCAS Arts and Culture says the partnership with Danie Odendaal Productions, which produces 7de Laan, provides youth with the opportunity to appear on television and interact with established actors. “The bigger impact is seen when these youth return to their communities and are idolised for their hard work and dedication.  Both worked extremely hard for the last two years. This exposure has now given them further drive to achieve more as both are doing their utmost best to study in performing arts further.”

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