|The 2015 Festival Team|
MPHO OSEI-TUTU: TRUSTEE
Mpho’s love of drama began at the tender age of eight. He holds a B.A. (Hons) in Dramatic Art from Wits University, where he majored in Performance, Television and Screenwriting, and is now a familiar actor on the South African stage and screen.
On-stage acting roles include The Man in Zakes Mda's The Mother Of All Eating, Ramabanquo in Pieter-Dirk Uys' MacBeki, Tumi in Paul Slabolepsky's For Your Ears Only, Winston in the Fugard classic The Island, with which he has toured the UK, the US and Greece; multiple characters in his self-penned Convincing Carlos (a recipient of a Standard Bank Ovation Award in 2010) and La Fleche in Sylvaine Strike’s The Miser (Best Play at the 2013 Naledi Theatre Awards).
On-screen, acting roles include Gabriel in Kota Life Crisis, Mobutu in the primetime SABC 3 series High Rollers, Niko in the Mzansi Magic primetime sitcom Samsokolo, Desmond in the International Emmy Nominated Home Affairs and Bomba in the internationally acclaimed feature film A Million Colors – for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film at the 2013 SAFTAs.
Mpho's voice can be heard in several voiceovers, book readings and radio plays, notably as Gift in Radio Vuka – which won Best Drama Programme at the 2012 MTN Radio Awards. He is also the IVR voice of Vodacom.
He is also a screenwriter and has penned episodes of primetime series Check Coast (Best Writing in a TV Comedy at SAFTAS 2015), Tempy Pushas, My Perfect Family (nominated for Best Writing in a Comedy at SAFTAS 2014), Rhythm City (Best Writing in a TV Soap at the SAFTAs in 2009), The Lab, Hopeville (nominated for an International Emmy Award in 2010) and A Place Called Home. He was also on the directing team of the popular Zone 14, on which he also wrote.
A burgeoning independent filmmaker, Mpho co-produced the short film Joburg (officially selected for several International festivals including Sundance in 2010), Getting it On (which won Best Overall Short Cut at the Multi Choice VUKA! Awards in 2006). His company, What Not Entertainment (in association with Burnt Onion Productions) has produced two seasons of the popular Mzansi Magic sitcom, Kota Life Crisis.
Mpho served on the board of The South African Guild of Actors (SAGA) from 2012-2014.
MEGAN GODSELL: TRUSTEE
RAPS welcomes back Megan Godsell - a director, producer and writer – as Festival Director for 2011 and 2012. Megan matriculated from Parktown High School for Girls in 2001, having begun her directing career there doing House Plays and the RAPS Festival. She studied at the Wits School of the Arts, majoring in Creative Writing and Directing. In 2005 her original script play Not The Princess was selected to represent the drama school as the official Wits production at the Grahamstown National Arts festival. In 2006 She wrote and directed In The Game, and directed a version of Romeo and Julietthat toured schools around Johannesburg. In addition to this, she directed and produced various fashion shows for young designers as part of the Arts & Fashion for Compassion fundraising initiative. In 2007, Megan founded Passionfish Productions with directing partner Belinda Belseck. She directed a version of A Midsummer Night's Dream that played at schools, in the Botanical Gardens and at Grahamstown, and Macbeth which played at the Gem theatre in Troyeville . In 2008 she wrote and directed Why We Left, (' A genuinely marvellous new play' - Sunday Independent) which toured to Grahamstown . Her involvement with schools has been ongoing – she directed a version of Much Ado About Nothing at Holy Rosary School, and a production of Othello which toured schools in Johannesburg and Mpumalanga. In 2009 she directed a version of Much Ado About Nothing that played in the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens. Megan is a co-founder of the international project The Orange Hats, a group designed to create dialogue around theatre, and The New Jo’burg Underground, a theatre collective to create support and skills sharing among young up-and-coming Jo’burg theatre groups. She wrote and directed the short film Closed Door, and produced the New Joburg Underground 2009 tour to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown (productions included Afrika: Mama, Yo!; Pastor Shebeshebe; Why We Left; The School of Whoredom). Why We Left was selected to be performed at the Aardklop Nasionale Kunsfees
REFILOE LEPERE: ADJUDICATOR
Refiloe Lepere, MA, is trained as a drama therapist at New York University. She is a journalist, actress, director and playwright. Her work explores and pushes the boundaries between ethnography and performance. Lepere weaves history, statistics and personal narrative to address issues of social (in)justice, intersectional identities and psychology of black people.
As a director and writer she has a particular interest in theatre that changes lives. She has primarily developed her skills through experience of running her own company, and accepting roles of project manfager for Human Rights and Social Justcie Season and as producer in order to extend her knowledge.
She has co-written, produced and acted in a number forum theatre productions including “Money for Shoes,” “Black in the Box” and many others. She also co-wrote, directed and acted in a Steve Biko Foundation commissioned play called “Talking Black” for the Biko 30:30 Festival.
Refiloe has a rich range of directorial skills by working with performers on their physical, vocal and character-driven connections.
KAMINI SOOBEN: STAGE MANAGER
Kamini Soobben has recently completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dramatic Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand majoring in Design & Theatre Prodution and Arts Management. Having interned at the Teatro, Montecasino, Pieter Toerien Theatre and the Joburg Theatre, Kamini has equipped herself with the technical skills of theatre making. She has been part of the Stage management and Technical team for the RAPS Festival for four years and is the Head Technician for 2015. She is also in her third year as the technical manager for the Shakespeare School’s Festival. Kamini has been part in many dance festivals from a technical aspect as well as worked with high schools in assisting with the staging their major productions. She has worked as assistant lighting designer on ‘Don Quixote’ the ballet (SABT, 2013), as well as Andrew Lloyd Weber’s ‘Starlight Express’(Janice Honeyman, 2013). Kamini is currently working for Pieter Toerien Productions at Montecasino as a technician and stage manager. She is also assisting in the costumes department for ‘Sister Act’ (Janice Honeyman,2015). Kamini intends to emerge as a young lighting designer in the near future.
DEVON WELMERS: STAGE MANAGER
Devon Welmers BA(PVA) 2. I am currently studying a dramatic arts degree at the University of the Witwatersrand specialising in Performance and Writing. As of 2016 I will be specialising in Physical Theatre and Directing. I am also currently studying a degree in Psychology. I am extremely passionate towards all art forms but slightly more toward the Physical arts. I have worked on Mythomania (a fourth year Physical theatre research project), I was crew chief on the Detours festival and I have performed in various productions at WITS. I am currently a stage manager for the RAPS festival and I am extremely passionate and privileged to find, and work with, the talented youth of today.
JADE BEEBY: STAGE MANAGER
WITS BADA 2: currently specializing in writing and performance, 2016 majoring in directing and physical theatre
I am passionate about working with children especially where that work pertains to the arts. I love physical theatre and musical theatre and watching the excitement and joy it can bring. I believe that art is education in every way and I hope to be a part of helping South Africa grow through art of all kinds.
JOCSELYN GOELST: STAGE MANAGER
Jocselyn Goelst was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1994. She grew up in an artistic household as her mother is a dance choreographer and this is where her passion began to grow for the arts. She dabbled in singing, dancing and acting in both primary and high school and then decided to study a BADA at the University of the Witwatersrand. Jocselyn completed her first year at Wits and then decided to take a gap year for the year of 2015, she is busy this year completing her dance teachers in Jazz and Hip Hop. Currently she is the lighting technician at the Raps Festival and hopes to rekindle her passion for the arts this year.
ARTWELL NWAILA: POSTER ADJUDICATOR