Festival of the Arts – the country’s leading Youth Arts Festival

Winner of the 2014 BASA (Business & Arts SA) - Increasing Access to the Arts Award for its corporate sponsor, RMB!

A fabulous 5-day celebration of all forms of the arts presented by the National School of the Arts in partnership with ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children & Young People) at the NSA and The Joburg Theatre complex. The diverse and dynamic programme of NSA & award-winning professional productions offers something for everyone from 8 - 80!

Annually more than 5 000 learners from across Gauteng (even from Cape Town and Zimbabwe) spend a day at the Festival, entranced by the magical productions and being inspired in their own creativity. Festival of the Arts adds a vibrant and memorable dimension to the high school Creative Arts curriculum.

For Gauteng arts lovers the Festival offers top quality productions at low ticket prices and an enchanting glimpse into the talents of the young people who will go on to become the future leaders and luminaries of the South African arts landscape.

Festival of the Arts is a feast of family-friendly entertainment.

NSA Productions 2018 Download the program here


This vibrant, feel good, award-winning Broadway musical is a magical retelling of Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – the modern American fairy tale of Dorothy Gale who finds herself in the mythical Land of Oz following a violent tornado. Audiences join Dorothy and her travelling friends, the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion as they Ease on Down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City to meet the magical WIZ. They all have a problem for the WIZ to solve; Dorothy needs to get home to Kansas, the scarecrow needs a brain, the Tinman a heart, and the cowardly lion courage. Set against a uniquely urban backdrop of familiar landmarks and skylines, THE WIZ is an uplifting musical of good triumphing over evil, liberation, and self-discovery. Ultimately, The Wiz encourages us to rekindle the transformative magic that resides deep in our hearts. Sometimes all you need is self-belief to set your course safely home. The score is a dazzling mix of rock, gospel, R&B, and soul, and the emerging stars from the NSA will delight from curtain up to the finale.

The production is in the inspiring hands of Director and choreographer Tracey Human. Additional choreography comes from Oscar Buthelezi and Laura Cameron, who recently joined the staff of the NSA’s Dance Department. Musical direction is by Marten Van Wyk. Digital projections are in the hands of award-winning scenic designer Wilhelm Disbergen while Cassandra Parsons brings her flair to the costume designs. THE WIZ will leave the audience with a beat in their feet and a melody in their hearts.

For perfect family entertainment “Ease on Down the Road” with The National School of the Arts to the magical land of OZ. In a world of good and evil witches, munchkins, flying monkeys, dancing poppies, crows, mice and Emerald City Citizens, we find a message of hope, acceptance, love, and redemption. We recognise the lessons that Dorothy learns as she faces the reality of growing up in the happy and loving company of a Scarecrow, a Tinman and a Lion.

A coup for the NSA, the QUEEN/Ben Elton School’s Edition of their smash-hit musical WE WILL ROCK YOU, that ran on London’s West End for 13 years, staged here for the first time outside the US and UK! This vibrant production is co-directed by Joburg Theatre’s resident director Timothy Le Roux (an NSA Alumnus) and Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year, Tracey Human. Featuring Queen’s iconic hit songs, the story tells of a group of Bohemians who struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion, and live music in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and acts the same. Musical instruments and composers are forbidden, and rock music is all but unknown. This production won’t only rock you, it’ll blow your socks off!! This truly is fantastic family entertainment.


"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes..."

The NSA Drama Department presents an Afro-Punk styled Macbeth set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic South Africa. Directed by Laine Butler and Johan Anker and running at 90 minutes, MACBETH will transform The Fringe Theatre at The Joburg Theatre into a landscape of power struggles and corruption.

Watch good disappear under a cloak of evil as a celebrated soldier and military strategist loses his moral fibre when prompted by the forces of darkness.

See "vaulting ambition" take a noble man from good to bad and from bad to worse.

This is the dubious world where "fair is foul and foul is fair, " and the pursuit of power leads to corruption, manipulation and moral decay - this is the world of MACBETH.


I Love Jozi explores the narra'ves of Joburg, both fic'onal and biographic. The work opens an impacWul window onto the City of golden opportuni'es from the perspec've of the youth. At 'mes funny, at 'mes heart-breaking but always revealing and relevant.


Winner of the NSA’s Original Works Festival 2017, this thought-provoking imaginative work explores the complex workings of the brain. In a surreal landscape we witness a conversation between the teenager’s mind and brain. Created and performed by Mila Brkic and Danijela Cook.


Intimately documents Copeland’s historic rise while shining a light on the absence of women of colour at major ballet companies. The film also explores how ballet’s emphasis on waifish bodies impacts the health of ballerinas while sending a negative message to young fans.

Born in Kansas City, and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland did not begin studying ballet until the relatively late age of 13. In 2000, she joined ABT's Studio Company, and the following year became a member of ABT’s Corps de Ballet. She continued to rise within the company, becoming a soloist in August 2007. In 2013, she was offered the lead role in Igor Stravinsky's challenging Firebird, to be performed at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, a major coup for a soloist.

The night of the Firebird performance Misty danced beautifully, but later revealed she'd been performing in great pain. Soon she would learn that her left shin suffered six fractures and required corrective surgery. Many doubted she would ever dance again. A Ballerina's Tale follows Misty's journey, from the triumph of Firebird to the injury and painful road back to the American Ballet Theatre stage, and emergence as a star in the process.


Tyson Ngubeni’s complexion lies somewhere between Wesley Snipes and eternal darkness. But in South Africa, this leads to tense encounters when people assume he doesn’t belong. The Darker Ages (sequel to the original Dark Ages that premiered at the National Arts Festival in 2016) is a comedy spectacular throwing punches at xenophobia using sharp observations and a thrilling mix of characters. Award-winning comedians Donovan Goliath (director) and Siv Ngesi (producer) team up to bring this show to life - in association with Masidlale Productions, adapting the work for young audiences.


The show is an adaption of Paul Gallico’s classic novella played out on the desolate Essex marshes and set against the background of the miracle of Dunkirk. A wounded snow goose brings a young girl, Fritha, and the recluse Philip Rhayader together in a moving story of friendship and courage.


The work in progress play is about Alan Sandham, Maude’s grandfather, who’s had to keep a secret for almost 60 years. The play excavates the layers of myth and memory of Alan’s life and what he kept in the shadows. A poignant story about a family, a father and husband, and the political ebbing into the personal.


The play tells the story of a white man who survives the horrors of conscription during the apartheid years in South Africa. Where does Johnny Boskak fit in the new South Africa? Is he white trash? Is he the last cowboy hero? He is on the road looking for love, redemption, an AK47 and the quickest way out of Secunda.

by Sunnyboy Motau shares the bill with Trafficked conceptualized and choreographed by NSA alumnus Yusuf Thomas.

Man Longing is an exploration into the dark and sinister world of human trafficking. Through the use of dance and poetry, this choreography hopes to bring awareness to young people of the dangers that lurk out there and the consequences of being a victim of human trafficking. Many young people forced into prostitution against their will, are kept as modern day slaves, while others are forced into the underworld of drug dealing and use. The city, while luring in its attraction of greener pastures, leaves many stranded and at risk of the evils that lurk the streets in the quiet stillness of the night.

The National School of the Arts is delighted to host Moving Into Dance Mophatong (MID) during their 40th Anniversary year and would like to extend congratulations to them on this milestone celebration.


Yusuf Thomas investigates how African dance principles (patterns, rhythms, and texts) may be used as a choreographic tool in contemporary dance. "Trafficked" looks at human trafficking while questioning the African tradition of ukuthwala. This work was presented as his final year project at TUT.

"Trafficked, represents the new and energetic style of a young choreographer which seamlessly fuses classical western training with elements of traditional African dance. Not only this, but the work is also important in subject matter; the issue of human trafficking is one which affects people across the globe. Trafficked passes comment on the horrors of this reality from an African, yet Universal, perspective. “ Ashley Wakefield, Dance Program Coordinator and Lecturer, Tshwane University of Technology

A REALITY UNSEEN– A Storyboard Banner - Curated by Melanie Hamman-Doucakis

With the support of the National Freedom Network, the Festival of the Arts will also exhibit A Reality Unseen a story board curated by photojournalist Melanie Hamman-Doucakis created to raise awareness about the realities of human trafficking.

A SEASON OF SIMPLICITY - same kind of difference, but still the same

An inclusive dance production that also has audience participation elements incorporated. The cast is made up of artists with diverse disabilities and disorders. Choreographed by the dancers, the production explores the personal stories of each artist under the direction of award winning dancer and choreographer Gladys Agulhas



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