Quest Visual Theatre and the South African FTH:K, two of the world’s highly acclaimed visual theatre companies, are coming in a two-year international arts exchange program called the Artsbridge International Exchange. Both Quest and FTH:K work with deaf and hearing performers, creating innovative, nonverbal theatre that transcends linguistic barriers.
The Artsbridge International Exchange facilitates skills and cultural exchange between deaf and hearing communities in South Africa and the USA and promotes inclusive visual theatre featuring deaf and hearing performers. It will comprise workshops, discussion forums, sharing of performance techniques and the creation of a visual theatre piece and education program to be presented at the National Arts Festival in South Africa and at QuestFest in Washington, D.C., March 25-April 7, 2012.
FTH:K is a young, ground-breaking theatre company that works in the field of Visual Theatre. Without a dependency on any one language, its work crosses over cultural and linguistic divides and calls on audiences to “Listen With Your Eyes.” It has already won multiple awards, toured all over South Africa, Germany and Argentina, and in only six years, has reached more than 46,000 people.
More than that, FTH:K is South Africa’s premier deaf and hearing theatre company with the goal of integrating the deaf into the performing arts world in South Africa. This aim is best illustrated through its unique “Tell-Tale Signs” program, which is currently training South Africa’s first generation of deaf artists for inclusion in the professional performing arts industry. There is currently no other project like it (nor has there ever been) running in South Africa.
FTH:K recently won the inaugural Herbert Dhlomo Naledi Award for Emerging Theatre Companies at the 2010 Naledi Theatre Awards. The award recognizes companies that push boundaries and take theatre into new realms of artistic expression.