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10 March 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Victor Sguassero (kykNET)
Chris Vorster
Chris was on stage in 'Die Hart Verklap' at the Toyota US Woordfees in Stellenbosch recently.

“Difficult and very strange,” is how Chris Vorster, veteran actor and Drama lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS) describes his role as Bas Koorts in the supernatural thriller Die Spreeus

For Chris, the biggest challenge during the filming of Die Spreeus was to work in front of a green screen. “You never see the monsters and things attacking you, it is only added later on during the editing process,” he said. Therefore, he and his co-actors were expected to use their own imagination “to be frightened, and to duck and dive from something that does not exist.” 

This Afrikaans thriller series has recently been nominated in five categories of the South African Film and Television Awards, including Best Television Drama, Best Cinematography, and Original Sound and Sound Editing. 

Chris was also nominated for a Fiësta award in 2019 for his one-man performance in the theatre production, Die Hart verklap. “It is fantastic to still be recognised for my work,” he said, “but I also have to give recognition to Dion van Niekerk, because without a good director, any actor will be lost.” Van Niekerk also lectures Drama at the UFS.

Being a lecturer broadens his knowledge 

Chris joined the UFS Department of Drama and Theatre Arts in 2015 as lecturer in the programme for Film en Visual Media. “Everything I learn in the industry I apply as lecturer, and research and teaching feed more knowledge on acting, directing, and especially writing,” he said. After five years, being involved with the UFS Department of Drama is still exciting to him. “This is where both lecturers and students get encouraged to do more than just breathing.” 

With his busy schedule of teaching and acting, it remains important to him that South Africans are still able to tell stories – “in any language”. He considers it a privilege for anyone to work in their mother tongue. This is also why the symbiosis between his work as actor and lecturer is so appealing.

News Archive

White Horse to bring enchantment to Free State Arts Festival
2015-07-09

White Horse Project: Concept, Jess Oliveiri & Parachutes for Ladies; Project Manager, Mandi Bezuidenhout; Video, Louis Kruger; Costume, Lesiba Mabitsela; Performers, Gali Malebo, Chris Kleynhans, Busisiwe Matutu, Johandi du Plessis, Elrie du Toit.

A University of the Free State (UFS) and Free State Arts Festival initiative, the Programme for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD/PIKO) has worked together with Australian artist, Jess Olivieri (Parachutes for Ladies), to bring visitors and spectators the fantastical and mythical White Horse. The UFS has served as home for the festival for a number of years, and is pleased to take part in bringing this communal project to the arts community that will gather at the annual festival.

The White Horse project begins Sunday 12 July 2015 at 15:00 at the Tweetoringkerk in Bloemfontein, launching the arts festival, while capturing the interest of many members of the Bloemfontein community as well as that of the UFS. The project itself will consist of about 200 members of the local community coming together for workshops in which they will be “reimagining” the White Horse. Olivieri will lead the workshops, which she also developed, assisted by Gali Malebo.

“The White Horse project sits within the contested nature of the White Horse - it is in this in-between space that new mythologies and narratives will be told. The project addresses, celebrates, reconfigures, and allows space for multiple narratives.  Given the debate on statues and symbols, the White Horse offers an opportunity to re-purpose and re-imagine symbols in Bloemfontein,” said Olivieri.

Photograph by David Goldblatt, Sculpted by Kagiso Pat Mautloa, a memorial to those who died while in the detention of the Security Police in this building formerly known as John Vorster Square, now Johannesburg Central Police Station. 27 February 2012, Silver gelatin print on fibre based paper, 98 x 120cm

The White Horse project is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, SituateART in Festivals, Salamanca Arts Centre, Arts NSW, NAVA, Creative Partnerships Australia and the University of Sydney.

Spectators can also look forward to the work of major artists including David Goldblatt’s photographic exhibition titled Structures of Dominion and Democracy at 20:00 on Monday 13 July 2015 at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery. In this exhibition, he has photographed everyday sites that contain historical narratives.

Work from other artists at the Arts Festival include Blowing in the Wind (19:00 on Monday 13 July 2015 in the Centenary Gallery), curated by Carol Brown, which is an exhibition that delves into issues of environmental and human exploitation. Angela de Jesus, curator of the UFS Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, will be curating, [my] PLEK | PLACE (18:30 on Monday 13 July 2015 in the Scaena foyer), in which the artists explore location, space, site, and/or ownership.

The Free State Arts festival begins on 13 July 2015.

 

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