Actresses to debut in District Six play

Thameenah Dramat, left, and Fatima Arnold will make their acting debut in From District Six to No Mans Land.

Two Woodstock women will make their acting debuts in the District Six play, From District Six to No Man’s Land.

Director, Jasmina Salie, from Hanover Park, cast 10 people with no acting experience for the play.

“My main objective was to give the young people a chance, many of them have a talent. They have never acted before and they are going to knock audiences off their seats,” said Ms Salie.

Thameenah Dramat, 24, and Fatima Arnold, 28, from Woodstock, auditioned for the play. Neither has acting experience or training.

Ms Arnold has worked in the City’s mechanical engineering department; Ms Dramat also works for the City, as a data capturer. But both took to their acting roles with confidence.

“For both of us, our personality traits came out, we are people’s persons, so it came easy to us,” said Ms Arnold.

“Everything flows as it goes, I feel very happy to be here,” said Ms Dramat.

The cast, who come from all over the city, have been rehearsing since August, for up to three days a week, at the District Six Homecoming Centre in Buitenkant Street.

For Ms Dramat, this play is special because her mother, Fatima Dramat, was forcibly removed from District Six in the 1960s, due to the Group Areas Act.

She will be playing two roles in the play: a resident called Aminah, who is married with sons, and a middle-aged woman, Ms Hendricks, who sell koekisters on a Sunday.

Ms Arnold will also have her acting talents tested as she is playing three characters: Zainab, who is like a shop owner, Farida, a teenager, and Sophie Dwan-e, a District Six resident.

From District Six to No Man’s Land shares the memories and experience of director Jasmina Salie, who was 14, when she and her family were forcibly removed from District Six. They were placed in Hanover Park in 1968.

The play also shares her experiences of Hanover Park.

The play will have its first performance at Zonnebloem Nest, on Saturday November 17, then at the District Six Homecoming Centre, on Saturday November 15 and at the Baxter Theatre from Thursday December 20 until December 22.

Next year, the play will move to the Schotsche Kloof civic centre in Bo-Kaap on Saturday and Sunday January 12 and 13 and then to the Athlone civic centre on Saturday February 2.

Email Ms Salie at jasmina.salie@gmail.com for more information.