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Sara Matchett

SARA MATCHETT, Section Head, Theatre

Senior Lecturer

tel: +27 (0)21 650 7120   

email: sara.matchett@uct.ac.za

EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS

2015 
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
PhD
Thesis Title: Breath-Body-Self: the body as a site for generating images for performance making.

2011 - 2012
FITZMAURICE VOICEWORK® CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
Completed Fitzmaurice Voicework® Certification Program in Los Angeles Currently practicing as an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®

2005
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
MA in Theatre and Performance
Thesis title: Breathing Space: Cross-community professional theatre as a means of dissolving fixed geographical boundaries (Graduated with Distinction).

1995
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN.
BA (HONS) IN DRAMA IN EDUCATION.
Dissertation title: Learning to Fly: The Zip Zap Children’s Circus Project (Graduated with Distinction).

1987 to 1990
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN.
DEGREE: BA AND PERFORMERS DIPLOMA IN SPEECH AND DRAMA.
Majoring in Drama.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2000 - Current
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN (CENTRE FOR THEATRE, DANCE & PERFORMANCE STUDIES: CTDPS) – SENIOR LECTURER
Teaching profile centres on theatre voice, theatre-making, acting and applied drama/theatre and theatre theory. Interest lies in interdisciplinary modes of creating. Intended PhD research is around exploring breath as a catalyst for making autobiographical performance. Research with The Mothertongue Project focuses on women’s theatre in the African continent with particular reference to cross-community professional theatre as a means of facilitating conversations across differences.

THE MOTHERTONGUE PROJECT – ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

  • Co-conceptualised, directed and performed in numerous productions from 2000 to current.
  • Co-conceptualised, co-developed and co-facilitated Sold Inside, a participatory theatre training in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
  • Conceptualised and facilitated 10 arts interventions/projects in the Langeberg town of McGregor. Produced by The Mothertongue Project from 2011 to current. Most projects involved UCT CTDPS students collaborating with young people from McGregor.

2007 to 2009

UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND (WITS SCHOOL OF ARTS DIVISION OF DRAMATIC ART) – LECTURER
Teaching profile centred on acting, theatre voice, theatre-making and applied drama/theatre, with particular concentration on interdisciplinary modes of creating. Research focused the role of the performer as contemporary shaman, with specific reference to honouring the feminine in shamanism through performance. Connected to this was research into developing a spiritual approach to acting and theatre-making, in an attempt to reclaim the sacred in theatre. This involved exploring the role of Body Energy Centres or Chakras as well as breath, in particular the Indian system of Rasa, in relation to actor training and development. Research with The Mothertongue Project focused on women’s theatre in the African continent with particular reference to cross-community professional theatre as a means of facilitating conversations across differences.

Executive Committee member of and responsible for curriculum development and teaching on the Drama for Life Programme, which aims to offer Honours, Masters and PhD programmes that build capacity in HIV and AIDS education through applied drama and theatre in the African Continent.

Research Description:

My research is currently focused on investigating the body as a site for generating images for the purpose of performance making. It is a methodological study that draws from various traditions, methods and somatic practices, such as Yoga, Fitzmaurice Voicework®, the Sanskrit system of rasa and Body Mapping. The study specifically centres on investigating the relationship between breath and emotion, and breath and image, in an attempt to make performance that is inspired by a biography of the body. It further intends to investigate whether breath can be experienced as an embodied element that is sensed somatically by the performers I work with, and in so doing act as a catalyst for activating memories, stories, and experiences held in the body of the performer. The purpose is to explore whether this is a conceivable way of generating material and images for the making of autobiographical performance. I am interested in investigating the potential of breath as impulse as well as thread that connects body, voice, imagination, and memory.3

Journal articles

Matchett, S. 2019. Review of Performing the Remembered present: The Cognition of Memory in Dance, Theatre and Music by Hansen, P & Bläsing, B (eds.). In South African Theatre Journal (SATJ). Available: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10137548.2018.1560972

Matchett, S. 2018. Body Mapping and Rasa Breath Patterns as a way of Embodying Character and analysing text in a production of the Trojan Women with Acting Students from the University of Cape Town's Drama, In South African Theatre Journal (SATJ). Available: https://doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2017.1417742. 31(1): 86-97.

Cloete, N., Dinesh, N., Hazou R. & Matchett, S. 2015. E(lab)orating Performance: transnationalism and blended learning in the theatre classroom. In Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. 20(4): 470-482.

Matchett, S. 2012. Deconstruct to Reconstruct: a Proposal for the Inclusion of Fitzmaurice Voicework® in the Training of Dancers. In Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices. 4(2): 179-193.

Matchett, S. 2012. Breath as Impulse, Breath as Thread: breath as catalyst for making an autobiographical performance in response to ‘corrective rape’ and hate crimes against lesbians. In South African Theatre Journal (SATJ). 26(3): 280-291. Available: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/KNU8xDD7EPpvwjrrNcHt/full#.U05UbK2Szbg

Matchett, S. 2006. Review of Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men and Ancestral Wives by Morgan, R and Wieringa, S. In Feminist Africa: Subaltern Sexualities. Issue 6. Cape Town: African Gender Institute: 104-107.

Matchett, S. 2005. Collaborative Conversations: The Mothertongue Project in Profile. In Feminist Africa: Women Mobilised. Issue 4. Cape Town: African Gender Institute: 99-104.

Book chapters

Matchett, S. 2018. Catalytic Conversations: The Aesthetic Weave and Social Weft of Phakama’s Creative Practice. In Phakama: Makging Particpatory Performance. London: Bloomsbury: 164-183

Matchett, S & Cloete, N. 2015. Performativities as Activism: Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Rape Culture in South Africa and beyond. In African Theatre 14 Contemporary Women. Suffolk: James Currey. 17-29.

Matchett, S & Okech, A. 2015. Uhambo: pieces of a dream – waiting in the ambiguity of liminality. In Fleishman, M (ed). Performing Migrancy and Mobility in Africa: Cape of Flows. Hampshire: Palgrave. 110-124.

Matchett, S. & Mokwena, M. 2013. Washa Mollo: Theatre as a Milieu for Conversations and Healing. In Barnes, H. (ed). Arts Activism, Education, and Therapies. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi. 107-125.

Keynotes:

2018. Matchett, S. Walking and Stumbling: Walking and Stumbling: The aesthetic as agitator for activism. Drama for Life Conference & Festival. Johannesburg.

Theatre Productions and Performances

Title of Production: Womb of FireRole: Co-conceptualiser and director. Venues: National Arts Festival (Makhanda), ICA 3rd Space Symposium (Cape Town), Con Cowan Theatre (Johannesburg), ITFoK Festival (Kerala, India), Woordfees Festival (Stellenbosch), Baxter Theatre (Cape Town), South African Women’s Arts Festival (Durban), PACE (Pan African Creative Exchange in Bloemfontein), Afrovibes Festival (Amsterdam, the Netherlands). Year: 2017 - 2018

Title of Production: WalkRole: Co-curator and performer. Venues: The Bindery Lab (Cape Town), Sex Actually Festival (Johannesburg), GIPCA Live Art Festival (Cape Town), Cape Town Fringe (Cape Town), African Women’s Playwrighting Conference (Cape Town), Vifa festival (Bhopal India), Freedom and Focus Conference (Dublin, Ireland), ITFoK Festival (Kerala, India), National Arts Festival (Makhanda), Woordfees Festival (Stellenbosch). Year: 2014 - 2019

Title of Production: NgangelizseRole: Co-conceptualised and director. Venues: Artscape Women’s Arts Festival (Cape Town). Year: 2013

Title of Production: Breath Bones Ancestors. Role: Conceptualised and performer. Venues: Freedom and Focus Conference (Vancouver, Canada). Year: 2012

Title of Production: Washa MolloRole: Co-conceptualiser and director. Venues: Wits Nunnery (Johannesburg), The National Arts Festival (Makhanda), Out the Box Festival (Cape Town), Bagamoyo Festival of Arts (Tanzania) Year: 2009 - 2010

Title of Production: Tseleng: the baggage of bagsRole: Co-conceptualiser and director. Venues: National Arts Festival (Makhanda), Out the Box Festival (Cape Town), State Theatre (Pretoria), The Wits Nunnery (Johannesburg) Year: 2009 - 2010

Title of Production: We Dream Therefor We AreRole: Conceptualiser and director. Venues: Darling.Year: 2006

Title of Production: Breathing SpaceRole: Conceptualiser and director. Venues: Voorkamer Festival (Darling). Year: 2005

Title of Production: CrossingsRole: Co-conceptualiser and director. Venues: The Playroom (Cape Town) and Artscape (Cape Town). Year: 2004

Title of Production: Uhambo: pieces of a dreamRole: Conceptualiser and director. Venues: National Arts Festival (Makhanda) and The Intimate Theatre (Cape Town). Year: 2004

Title of Production: Indawo Yamaphupha: the space of dreamsRole: Co-conceptualiser and performer. Venues: The Intimate Theatre (Cape Town). Year: (2003)

Title of Production: Unkulunkulu the Sovereign OneRole: Co-conceptualiser and Director. Venues: Women against War for Peace Conference (Khayelitsha). Year: 2001

Title of Production: Beading my Soul. Role: Co-conceptualiser and Director. Venues: Artscape Theatre (Cape Town), The Baxter Theatre (Cape Town), National Arts Festival (Makhanda), Macufe Arts Festival (Bloemfontein), Calabash Festival (Mmabatho), Market Theatre Women’s Arts Festival (Johannesburg), State Theatre (Pretoria) Theatre Spriral (Genava, Switzerland), and at the “Shap Shap Festival (Bern, Switzerland). Year: 2001 - 2004

Title of Production: What the Water Gave Me. Role: Director. Venues: Artscape Theatre (Cape Town), Baxter Theatre (Cape Town), Market Lab (Johannesburg). Year: 2000 and 2001

Unpublished conference proceedings

Title of Conference: VASTA 2017 (Lasalle College of Arts, Singapore). Title of Paper: Breathing into Self. Year: 2017

Title of Conference: VASTA 2017 (Lasalle College of Arts, Singapore). Title of Workshop: Writing the Self. Year: 2017

Title of Conference: ITYARN (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) Conference (City Hall, Cape Town, South Africa). Title of Paper: in2Out: Early Years Theatre in the Langeberg Region. Year: 2017

Title of Conference: Freedom & Focus Conference (The Dance Factory, Dublin, Ireland). Title of Workshop: Breathe-Feel-Image(ine). Year: 2016

Title of Conference: ASA 16: Footprints & Futures: the time of anthropology (Durham University, Durham, UK). Panel: Exposure: interdisciplinary perspectives on breath, air and atmospheres. Title of Paper: Breath-Body-Self. Year: 2016

Title of Conference: Freedom & Focus Conference (The Dance Factory, Dublin, Ireland). Workshop Title: Breathe-Feel-Image(ine). Year: 2016

Title of Conference: IFTR 2015. (Hyderabad University, Hyderabad, India). Title of Paper: Performativities as Activism: the case for the synergetic potential between online and embodied activism in addressing gender-based violence and rape culture. Year: 2015

Title of Conference: The End(s) of Pedagogy in Art (Ambedkar University, New Delhi, India). Title of Paper: Service Learning through Community Based Theatrical Interventions: a Pedagogical Model Implemented by the University of Cape Town’s Drama Department. Year: 2014

Title of Conference: International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFOK) Colloquium 2014: Gender Transition Spectatorship (Trissur, Kerala, India. Title of Paper: Gender and Feminist Activism Through Performance. Presenters: Matchett, S. and Rao, M.K. Year: 2014

Title of Conference: UCT Teaching and Learning Conference: Teach. Engage. Learn. (UCT). Title of Paper: It’s not about you! – dramatic service learning. Presenters: Baxter, V. and Matchett, S. Year: 2013

Title of Conference: Freedom and Focus Conference (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver). Title of Workshop: Breath as Impulse, Breath as Thread. Presenter: Matchett, S. Year: 2012

Title of Conference: VASTA: A Voice for Good (George Washington University. Washington DC). Title of Paper: Breath as Impulse, Breath as Thread: Breath as Catalyst for Making Autobiographical Performance. Presenter: Matchett, S Year: 2012.

Title of Conference: VASTA: A Voice for Good (George Washington University. Washington DC). Title of Workshop: Creating Oral Poetry: Shaping performance inspired by Southern-African traditions Presenters: Matchett, S. Year: 2012.

Title of Conference: AFTA. Querying Africa: Dis-ease, Metamorphosis and Unconventionality in African Theatre and Performance.

Title of Paper: Mapping the Self: somatic approaches to making and performing autobiographical performance with transgendered participants Presenters: Matchett, and​​​​​​​ Gardini, G. Year: 2012

Title of Conference: Confluences 6. Physicality and Performance (UCT School of Dance). Title of Paper: Deconstruct to Reconstruct: A Proposal for the inclusion of Fitzmaurice Voicework in the training of Dancers. Presenter:​​​​​​​ Matchett, S. Year: 2011

Title of Conference: IDEA Congress. Live, Living Diversity! Embracing the Arts of Transformation. (Belem, Brazil). Title of Paper: Washa Mollo: Intertextuality and Performance Presenters: Matchett, S. and Mokwena, M. Year: 2010

Title of Conference: IDEA Congress. Live, Living Diversity! Embracing the Arts of Transformation. (Belem, Brazil).Title of Workshop: Ritual Containers: The Narrative Self Presenters: Matchett, S. and​​​​​​​ Mokwena, M. Year: 2010

Recent Additional Workshops

  • 2018: University of Amsterdam, Workshop title: Translating the Self performance making workshop
  • 2018: Afrovibes, Amstedam, Workshop title: Voice as a generative tool for performance makers

Awards

  • 2018 UCT Creative Arts Award for the production, Womb of Fire.
  • 2018 Woordfees Festival Best Director and Best Production awards for the production, Womb of Fire.
  • BIARI Scholarship/Award to attend BIARI (Brown International Advanced Research Institutes) Programme at Brown University in 2013 as part of the ‘Theater and Civil Society Institute’.
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