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Woordtrofees winners 2020

The winners of the 2020 Toyota SU Woordfees Woordtrofees Awards were announced on 7 April at 18:00 via Facebook broadcast. The winners received an artwork by Theo Paul Vorster and a financial prize. 

A video of the Woordtrofees Awards, with messages from all the winners, is available on woordfees.co.za.

The winners are:

WOW Teacher of the Year
Rollan Andrews

WOW School of the Year
Klein Nederburg Sekondêr

Best Production: Fringe
Moord, op die 8ste gat

Best Performance: Dance
Wag / Waiting

Best Achievement: Visual Art
The Shape of Things to Come – Olaf Bisschoff

Best Technical Achievement 
Johan Griesel and Revil Baselga – Sound mix: Karen Zoid 20 jaar pops 

Best Achievement in Arts Journalism
Marina Griebenow

Best restaurant in Die Burgeroorlog [The Burger Wars]:
RocoMamas

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

Best Production: Contemporary Music – Podium Production
Amanda Strydom: Stadig oor die klippers 

Best performance: Contemporary Music – Open-air Production
Early B

Best Performance: Contemporary Music – Music-driven Production
Die poet, wie’s hy?

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Best Performance: Classical Music – Vocal
Stellenbosch University Choir conducted by André van der Merwe

Best Performance: Classical Music – Instrumental
Miclen LaiPang (violin) for Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata with the LGT Young Soloists

DRAMA

Best Supporting Actor (Male)
Stian Bam – Valsrivier

Best Supporting Actor (Female)
Anna-Mart van der Merwe – Valsrivier

Best Actor (Male)
Robert Hindley – Valsrivier

Best Actor (Female)
Nicole Holm – Tweespoor

Best Ensemble
Die sonkamer

Best Director
Janice Honeyman – Valsrivier

Best Production
Valsrivier

THE BOOK PRIZE WINNERS IN FOUR CATEGORIES ARE:

Bestseller: Non-fiction
Yusuf Daniels – Living Coloured(Because Black and White Were Already Taken)

Bestseller: Lifestyle
Marinda Engelbrecht (Maklik met Marinda) and Herman Lensing (Dit proe soos huis) 

Bestseller: Poetry
Jeanne Goosen – Het jy geweet ek kan toor?

Bestseller: Fiction
Woordfeeskortverhaalbundel 2020: Aanhou beweeg en geraas maak (Selected by: Suzette Kotzé-Myburgh, Valda Jansen and Madri Victor)

SPECIAL AWARDS

Best Upcoming Artist
René Cloete – Huppelkind

Toyota Top Order
Karen Zoid: 20 jaar pops

This new prize will henceforth be awarded to an excellent musician or production that falls outside the traditional boundaries of contemporary music.

The award goes to Karen Zoid 20 jaar pops. It was not only the topselling show at the festival this year, but it also succeeded in blending contemporary and classical music seamlessly. This production inspired and entertained – a fitting celebration of her 20 years in the music industry.

Groundbreaking Production
J. Bobs Live – Off the Record (Jefferson Tshabalala)

In Solidarity Prize
Amelda Brand

The In Solidarity Prize is awarded to roleplayers in the arts who tirelessly work, often for little or no compensation, towards greater social cohesion. 

Almelda Brand receives this recognition for her work with communities and students as well as her excellent professional work in the performing arts. This award was made possible by the support of Distell. 

Previous winners:
2017: Simon Witbooi (HemelBesem)
2018: Janine Neethling
2019: Felicia Lesch

Best Festival Production 
Die poet, wie’s hy?

Given the extensive range of the festival programme, several panel members served on the Woordtrofees panel across the various genres. Panel members were invited to the panel on the basis of their expertise and experience across the genres. Given the scope of the programme, some panels were assigned convenors. These were: Haddad Viljoen (Drama), Heinrich van der Mescht (Classical Music) and Rafiek Mammon (Contemporary Music). The panels made recommendations to the oversight panel which was responsible for the categories Best Upcoming Artists(s) and Best Festival Production. Gillian Mitchell convened this panel which included Paul Boekkooi and Diane de Beer. 

Mitchell says: “The Woordfees programme continues to go from strength to strength – delivering outstanding productions across every genre.

This year built on that tradition and for the first time there is an award for Best Festival Production. We hope that this award will further encourage artists to keep pushing their artistic creativity and ingenuity beyond limits. 

“This year was one of the brightest for up-and-coming talent at the festival.

Our young artists are proving to be resourceful, creative and superbly gifted. It was encouraging to see that they were active across all aspects and not only as performers.” 

Haddad Viljoen, convenor of the Drama panel, shares Mitchell’s enthusiasm: “The drama programme at this year’s festival was outstanding – from large scale productions to small, intimate ones. The diversity in content and subject matter was rich, challenging and occasionally astonishing. It once again showed the important role that drama plays in understanding and working through our human condition in the South African context.  

“There were extensive deliberations about the nominations in the various categories, but in choosing the winners we were unanimous. Valsriver, under the experienced direction of Janice Honeyman, with its riveting cast and design was one of the most impressive drama productions at the festival. Nicole Holm was awarded for her role in Tweespoor, a play that left audiences mesmerised.”   

According to Heinrich van der Mescht, convenor of the Woordtrofees panel for Classical Music, the programme this year was of extraordinary quality.  “The limited length of the nominations list precluded many musicians from being nominated despite their exceptional performances,” he says. 

“The award in the instrumental category goes to Miclen Laipang, a virtuoso violinist with outstanding intonation and sweet timbres. In addition he is an artists of great authenticity who communicated with the audience with feeling and enthusiasm.  

“In the vocal category the award goes to the magnificent Stellenbosch University Choir for their quiet, moving and intense performance.”

Rafiek Mammon, convenor of the Woordtrofees panel for Contemporary music, remarked: “No fewer than nine panel members were necessary this year to do justice to the 50 productions in three categories (open air, podium and music driven productions).  Feedback from the panel members varied from “exceptional work – as one expects from a festival such as this’ to ‘only one or two, standard productions’.  

“It was difficult to compile the final list of nominations because there were so many diverse views. This is a good thing, because it means that there were not only one or two highlights and says something very positive about the quality of the productions on the whole. The winners were unanimously chosen by the panel.” 

For more information on the Woordtrofees Awards or the Toyota SU Woordfees, which took place from 6 to 15 March 2020 in Stellenbosch, please contact Danie Marais at danie_marais@sun.ac.za or 083 325 3433.

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