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2021 Judges

Delia Sainsbury

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Delia Sainsbury is the Managing Director of The Waterfront Theatre School, that has been established for over 30 years in Cape Town.

 

Delia trained at the famous Bush-Davies School in London attaining her teaching qualifications in Classical Ballet, Modern Theatre Dance and Tap and a Performers Diploma in Drama through the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She made her debut in Camelot at Drury Lane Theatre and went on to appear in 9 other West End Musicals in London.

 

Theatre Credits include: Funny Girl, Four Musketeers, Canterbury Tales and West Side Story. In addition, Delia performed in various U.K. regional venues, on BBC television and in international movies. She was a regular on the London Cabaret circuit. After moving to SA in 1976, Delia went on to become a household name for over 20 years as a Presenter on SABC, affectionately known as the “Golden Girl of Television.” She was granted Senior International Examiner status for the I.S.T.D. in 1986 and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. She is the first international member of the Grand Council for the I.S.T.D. and is now the Liaison Officer for the I.S.T.D. for Africa and the Middle East. Delia writes and produces extensively for corporate theatre and has written, directed and produced numerous pieces for youth theatre. In addition, Delia offers career guidance, arranges professional auditions for children and graduates, trains presenters for television and consults consistently with industry professionals on a wide range of creative projects.

Steven Stead

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Steven holds a Drama Hons degree (cum laude) from UKZN, and initially pursued an acting career, appearing in dozens of plays and musicals, winning awards for acting, in Shakespeare (Hamlet and The Tempest) and comedy (The Mystery of Irma Vep). However, he has spent the greater part of the past two decades years directing.

 

For eight years he was senior staff director at the English National Opera and directed many operas in London and elsewhere in Europe, before coming back to Durban in 2004 to work with Greg King and develop KickstArt Theatre. Together they have revived the tradition of pantomime in the city, and have created some memorable drama productions: The Play That Goes Wrong, Jeeves and Wooster, The Ladykillers, Twitch, Venus in Fur, Red, The God of Carnage, Duet for One, Wit, Noises Off, Laughing Wild, Shirley Valentine, Dangerous Liaisons, Boston Marriage, Oleanna, Dracula, Popcorn, Don’t Dress for Dinner and The Road to Mecca. Musicals that they have produced include The Wizard of Oz, Little Shop of Horrors, Peter Pan, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (which Steven also appeared in) , Cabaret (which enjoyed a highly successful national tour), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Annie (in which he played Rooster) Sweeney Todd, Shrek the Musical , Snoopy!!! (in which he played the title role), Into the Woods, Chicago and Camelot(in which he played King Arthur).

 

Other directing credits include Alcina (Oviedo and Bilbao, Spain) My Fair Lady and Bravo (Playhouse Company), Rigoletto and La Traviata (Opera Africa), and I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Valley Song both for Cape Town Opera.

He won the Naledi Award for Best Director of a Musical in 2015 for his Gauteng production of Sweeney Todd, the Broadway World Award for Best Director of a Musical for Little Shop of Horors (2014), Sweeney Todd (2015), Into the Woods (2020) and Camelot (2019), as well as dozens of Durban Mercury Theatre Awards for directing musicals, plays and children’s theatre.

Bernard Kruger

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Bernard Krüger is the Music Director of Kearsney Ciollege and Choir mater of the interntionally acclaimed Kearsney College Choir and Kwa-Zulu Natal Youth Choir. He is a composer and arranger for local and international ensembles, a cappella groups, choirs and orchestras. Krüger studied conducting at the Koninklijk Conservatorium (Royal Conservatory) in The Hague, Netherlands, with Jos van Veldhoven and Jos Vermunt, received masterclasses from Simon Halsey, Paul Hillier, Jaap v Zweden, Tonu Kaljuste, Steve Reich, Masaaki Suzuki and Nathalie Stutzmann.

 

He is frequently in demand for workshops at conferences and festivals in South Africa and abroad, particularly for South African choral music and performance practice and was member of the jury at the Johannes Brahms Competition (2011), the European Choir Games (2013), the World Choir Games (2014), Canta al Mar (2016) as well as competitions and eisteddfods in South Africa.

 

Under his direction the Kearsney College Choir was crowned WCG Champions in Scenic Folklore (2012) and Scenic Pop (2014).

In 2017, the Drakensberg Boys Choir under Bernard’s direction, toured to Japan and performed in front of 38,500 people over 25 concerts in all major cities and in 2018, the Drakensberg Boys Choir was crowned Champions of the WCG in Tshwane in the category Scenic Pop. In 2019, Bernard led the DBC to perform at the official 20 th Anniversary concert of The Lion King on the West End in London, in a joint performance with Lebo M and the

cast.

 

Bernard Krüger is actively involved in the promotion of choral music in South Africa and

believes choral music will one day be the driving force to bring peace and understanding

across cultures, borders, religions and nations on Earth.

Duane Alexander

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Duane hails from Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-zulu Natal, and has been dancing and performing since the age of 6.

He studied at the Waterfront Theatre School in Cape Town where he twice received the award for ‘Most Outstanding Student’.

He also obtained his Performer’s Certificate in Musical Theatre, and teaching degrees in both Modern and Tap dance.

 

After graduating, he performed in, and was Dance Captain on, the Original South African cast and International Touring Companies` of CATS, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mark Cohen in RENT, Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, High School Musical, GREASE, CABARET, Bob Crewe in JERSEY BOYS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Don Lockwood in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, ANNIE, and award-winning choreographer of the recent smash production of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT.

 

Duane has worked as Resident Director and/or Resident Choreographer on many of the above-mentioned productions including CATS, CABARET, JERSEY BOYS, SINGIN IN THE RAIN, ANNIE, CHICAGO, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, EVITA and as the Children’s Director on THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

 

He was an Associate Resident Choreographer on MATILDA - The Musical as well as the Co-Director of the Performing Arts School in Cape Town called the LUITINGH ALEXANDER MUSICAL THEATRE ACADEMY.

 

www.lamta.co.za

 

Instagram: duanealex27,

Twitter: @duanealex

Sir Roel Twinstra

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Roel Twijnstra is a theatre director, producer, a lecturer and writer originally from the Netherlands. He started his career in 1981 after internships with Peter Brook (France), Peter Stein (Berlin) and Viola Spolin (Hollywood).

He produced more then 100 theatre productions, In the Netherlands, US, Russia, Nepal, and different African countries like Morocco, Guinee, Benin and Uganda. Since 1999 he directed national and international theatre shows in South Africa. For theatres and festivals like NAF, KKNK, PACOFS, Soweto theatre and Artscape.

 

He is the founder and director of TWIST projects an organization that is focusing on the development of the theatre industry in KZN, an organization he manages together with Emma Durden.

 

He is the author of 5 books about theatre and film. The last three published in South Africa, one on Theatre directing, one on Producing for theatre and the most recent one on Acting for Stage and Screen in South Africa.

 

Currently he is the Head of Live Performance at AFDA Durban and focusing on the development of a South African Screen acting methodology in collaboration with the Film and TV Industry in KZN.

He is based in Durban since 2011, married with Actress, Singer, Playwright and Novelist Philisiwe Twijnstra and the proud father of their daughter Nondalo.

He was knighted by the King of the Netherlands in 2017 and given the Royal Dutch order “ Knight of Oranje Nassau” for the cultural exchange between South Africa and the Netherlands and international artistic excellence.

Mel Massyn

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For the last 15 years, Mel Massyn has serviced the KZN film and TV industry, by supplying talent from his agency, Let’s Face It. Having forged strong working relationships with South African advertising agencies and production companies, Let’s Face It has given thousands of performers from KZN the opportunity to appear in front of camera. Mel’s biggest thrill is to see his talent popping up on screen or online, as they appear in various commercials – both locally and internationally.

 

Mel has since gone on to spend the last six years freelancing as a Casting Director in Cape Town. However his main focus remains the pursuit of suitable work opportunities for the amazing talent on his Durban database, who have remained loyal to Let’s Face It for the last 15 years.

 

Mel has been fortunate enough to be on previous years Project Performer judging panels and he is really looking forward to seeing what amazing talent this year produces.

Jo Gallaway

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Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Jo made the move out to the United States in 2012 to continue her career as a professional actress, singer, dancer, writer, producer, director and international voice artist. Jo qualified in Speech and Drama & Musical Theatre and holds her International Tap & Modern Dance Teacher qualifications through the Waterfront Theatre School in Cape Town and the I.S.T.D London.

Jo has performed lead roles in professional theatre productions such as "Cats," "The Full Monty," "The Buddy Holly Story," "Hairspray," "Happily Ever Laughter," "African Footprint," "Look Back In Anger," "Some Girls," "Boeing- Boeing," "Perfect Wedding," "All For Art," and the award nominated production “Infantryman In the Wardrobe,” which she also wrote and directed. Jo was nominated twice for her stage performances, in the roles of Demeter in "Cats," followed by Amber in "Hairspray."

Before leaving South Africa, she moved into television and film, where she co- wrote and performed in the hit sketch comedy TV show "Sketch U Later," as well as playing a lead role in the award-winning television drama “Intersextions.”

Jo has worked on the production and acting side of multi-camera comedy shows such as "ANTfarm," "Mighty Med," "Bunk'd,” "Gamers Guide,” “School Of Rock” and the CBS comedy “FAM.”
Some of her other TV & film credits include "Masters of Sex," "The Bandit Hound," "The Orville," “All Wrong,” "The Dark Tapes," "American
Nightmare," "The Forbidden Cure," “Tomorrow,” “Time Served,” “Mood Swings,” “The Escort,” and the “The Last Sacrament.”
Jo has most recently wrapped production on “An American Abroad” which she Co-Produced and shot in Cape Town and is currently in pre-production for her upcoming film “The Cape Doctor,” which is slated for February next year.

Jo is excited to be introducing film and television training workshops to the curriculum at the Waterfront Theatre School in 2022, further diversifying the skills in the acting and drama department.

A well-known and experienced international Voice Artist with years of experience, Jo has managed to stop the voices in her head from driving her slightly mad by voicing characters and accents for numerous clients.
Find her on IMDb Or follow her on FaceBook or her YouTube Channel.

Daisy Spencer

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Daisy Spencer completed her honours in Drama (Cum Laude) at Rhodes University,specialising in choreography,mime,dance culture and education,physical theatre,directing and acting.

She is an extremely versatile performing artist,working professionally for the past nineteen years,as an actress,choreographer,director,dance and drama teacher- teaching at schools: Manor Gardens primary,DCC primary and Glenwood Prep,workshop facilitator (stage combat.commedia dell’arte and physical theatre),writer and producer.

Straight after university she worked for award winning drama company,UBOM Eastern Cape Drama Company,expanding her expertise in shakespeare,industrial theatre,poetry collages and children’s theatre. She is a valuable board member of the Young Performers Project,on which she serves as treasurer of the board.

This award winning theatre practitioner,most recently played the title character in Athol Fugard’s “Nongogo” (2021) which ran at The Playhouse for the 25th annual women’s art festival, as well as the role of Annie,the stage manager,in Kickstart’s successful, “The Play That Goes Wrong” (2018),several roles in Kickstart’s magical interpretation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” (2019) as well as directed and choreographed the comedies, “Bloopers” (2018) and,”Family Therapy” (2019),starring comedy heavy weights,Aaron McIllroy and Lisa Bobbert,which have had successful runs at various theatres and festivals. Known as a comedy ace,she has also performed in her own one woman comedy show,”What to expect when you’ve expected” (2017 and 2018) which she performed in KZN and the eastern cape.as well as the 2-hander,”The P.A.R.C” (2016),which she co-scripted with fellow actor Rory Booth,directed and choreographed.

She recently choreographed the hilarious “Divas Lost Vegas”

(2020) and her other choreography credits include the musicals, “School of Rock,SA”(2008), “Big River” (2009), “Hairspray” (2010), “Seussical the Musical” (2011), “Legally Blonde”(2012), “Footloose” (2014), “The Buddy Holly Story” (2016) as well as original South African shows, “Can You Feel It?” (2013), “Soldiers in the City” (2015), “Shaken not Stirred” (2013) and “The African Passion”(2016).

She has also choreographed for choirs,namely,Kearsney Boys choir-which she helped win second place at the world choir games in 2019 with her pop choreography- ,Redham senoir choir,and Thomas More senior and junior choirs. Most recently she has been a judge for national talent search competitions,Starz at Home,as well as Project Performer. For the past three years she has also served as head of the Kwa mashu sector of the Go Durban Musical Theatre Academy,as well as,of the dance coaches for all three sites in; Kwa mashu,Kwa dabeka and Inanda.

Robbie Dwyer

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Robbie Dwyer is based in the UK and has been involved in the Music Industry for over 20 years, as both a musician and producer.

 

He has studied and trained one of the world's top independent music colleges 'The Academy of Contemporary Music', where he achieved his degree in Music Production. Since then, he has gone on to work with Production companies as a freelance, assisting in some projects for the BBC, as well dabbling in tour management. Currently, most of his work is in freelance and working with bands and songwriters to help develop and nurture their music to release.

 

When it comes to adversity and opportunity, Robbie is a bit of a trailblazer and is now embarking on being at the forefront of technology and offering Remote Recording Services, which is enabling him to connect to anyone in the world to write and record their music, this has seen him collaborating with artists both around the UK and further a field in America.

 

Along side his freelance work, Robbie is a lecturer, teaching Music Studio Production for the University of Winchester, as well as Chichester College, helping the next generation access the necessary skills to have a career in the industry.

 

With regards to Robbie's skillsets as a musician, he's been playing guitar for 25 years, playing in a variety of bands ranging from both originals and covers playing rock, pop, punk and soul.

 

Other career highlights as a musician include supporting James Brown in 2001 and having a co-written song released and performed for The Stage Coach charity at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall.

Anton Luitingh

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Anton Luitingh has been involved in many facets of the entertainment industry, working as a director, actor, singer, songwriter, musical director, musician and voice artist. He obtained his B.Dram (Hons) Cum Laude degree in Drama at the University of Stellenbosch and has since performed on locals and international stages in various genres.

 

Lead roles include performances in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, GREASE, the International Touring Company of CATS, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, SHOWBOAT, Pontius Pilate in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, the Beast in Disney’s smash hit Broadway musical BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PORGY AND BESS, NOAH OF CAPE TOWN, EVITA, and SUNSET BOULEVARD, Daddy Warbucks in ANNIE, and reprising his role as Pharaoh in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT.

 

Anton has been Resident Director on many professional productions including PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, RENT, CHICAGO, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, JERSEY BOYS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, & ANNIE and is currently the Resident Director of MATILDA - The Musical. Anton is also the Co-Director of the newly established LUITINGH ALEXANDER MUSICAL THEATRE ACADEMY in Camps Bay.

 

www.lamta.co.za

 

Instagram: anton_luitingh, Lamtacademy, musicaltheatreworkshop

Twitter: @Luitingh, Lamtacademy, musicaltheatreworkshop

Musa Hlatshwayo

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"Musa Hlatshwayo was born and raised in Maphumulo and currently stays in Durban where he works with his company Mhayise Productions.

 

He is a performing artist, choreographer and creative/artistic director under his own company; Mhayise Productions.

 

Some of his major achievements include; the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance for the year 2018, an honorary Award ‘The Eric Shabala Dance Champion Award’ by the CCA and Jomba in recognition of his contribution to the development of dance in KZN, choreographing the official opening parade of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, choreographing the opening of the 10th CAADP and many other major events, extensive tours in Africa, the Indian Ocean’s Islands, the UK, Europe, America and multiple prestigious awards in recognition of his performance work and choreographic work.

 

He is a graduate of the University of KwaZulu Natal and the Copenhagen School of Modern Dance with a post-graduate certificate in Dance in Education (UKZN), an Honours Degree in Performance Studies (UKZN) a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication Studies (UKZN) and a certificate in Dance and Choreography (Copenhagen School of Modern Dance)."

Shaun Stander

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OCA Acting Studio was created in 2012 to encourage and help those who want a career in the Film and TV industry and even help those who are looking to develop their self-confidence to get ahead in life. We promote Talent for all ages, races and genders through our Agency to clients around South Africa.

 

​Shaun Stander, Managing Director, and Mr South Africa 2019 People's Choice Winner and Mr South Africa First Prince Winner 2019 and a further 73 titles including previous wins such as: SA Bachelor Runner Up, Mr Africa Winner and Sir King of the Universe winner operates OCA Acting studio with his partner Shaun Nel assisting with Marketing and Accounts. Shaun Stander has a background in modelling, acting, dancing, singing and choreography, with over 20 years’ experience having worked in the industry as well as managing talent through his model agency, Mobile Model Management since 2003. He has had numerous models also booked for commercials, films and movies through the years. Shaun Nel, Marketing Director of OCA, has 20 years’ experience in sales, marketing, training and development.