BS: My name is Beviol Swartz and I graduated twice, actually. I was in the group [during] 2014-2015, and then I graduated that year, and the third year I was [here] for one year and then I graduated that year as well, 2016.
RH: Hi, I’m Rozanne Holland. I’m from Clanwilliam […] I came here in 2012 and I did a one-year course. It was a two-year course but I only did it for the first year and then I dropped out, as they would say. Then I went back home to Clanwilliam. That was 2012. In 2013, I went back […] and then they had some project going on, [the] N7 school project […] and I was assisting. And Nolan Africa, who was working for Magnet at the time, I was assisting him in a schools project. And I was still working for Magnet from 2013, [that’s when] we started. And we ended last year. But about a week and a half ago we finished our schools programme, we had a 3-week programme, and we finished that.
I’m also working with a drama group in Clanwilliam, which was started by Magnet Theatre back in 2007. So, this year we’re celebrating our tenth anniversary of the group and we’re [still] going strong. And I also do drama workshops on a Monday afternoon with the primary school children [who] come to the drama workshops. We have the drama, the music, the dance and […] they do poems and Eisteddfod – in preparation for that. So, that is what I do.
BS: The fact that Magnet has become a family. It’s just the home-yness. They make you feel very comfortable. It’s the fact that they [are] warm and they make you feel at home. That is the one thing that has stuck with me, the fact that this has become my home.
“Magnet has become a family” – Beviol Swartz
RH: The one thing that stuck with me was that I could go back to the community and give back to them what I’ve learned here, and I mean, quite a lot.
“The one thing that stuck with me was that I could go back to the community and give back to them what I’ve learned here” – Rozanne Holland
BS: The Early Years project, that was the project that I enjoyed the most. Working with the children and creating Theatre for them.
RH: I can say I’ve had a lot of experience […] Like I said, I could go back into the community, back into the schools and teach them whatever I’ve learned here.
And, the other thing is also, they are doing such nice work in Clanwilliam. I didn’t mention they are doing the Clanwilliam Arts Project annually, and it happens in September every year. And this year will be their […] 16th or 17th year in Clanwilliam doing the Arts Project where they tell /Xam stories which was translated by Lucy Lloyd and Wilhelm Bleek […] They’ve done incredible work over the past years in Clanwilliam. I don’t know what would happen if this project just stopped because this means so much to that community. And I must say that, every year they are all just looking forward to this […] it’s a week where it happens […] in September and after September, there’s October – and then you will get children asking, “When are they coming again?” So, so much excitement in there.
“I don’t know what would happen if this project just stopped because this means so much to that community” – Rozanne Holland
BS: It’s beautiful to see what the children do. Like when I, when we went there last year, it was an amazing experience just to see how the children – they welcome you with open arms, even if they don’t know you, but they welcome you with open arms just because this project has done so much for them and it’s taught them a lot.
“they welcome you with open arms just because this project has done so much for them” – Beviol Swartz
Please click here to access Dialogue’s other posts in this series of interviews with alumni and staff of Magnet Theatre.
The Full-Time Training and Job Creation Programme receives support from TK Foundation, Rand Merchant Bank, Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, Hosken Consolidated Investments Ltd Foundation, Rolf-Stefan Nussbaum Foundation, Ampersand Foundation, Potjie Foundation, Business Arts South Africa, Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports Expanded Public Works Programme, Joan St Leger Lindbergh Charitable Trust, and Distell.
Transcribed by Norah Ringma
© Dialogue Community Performance / Magnet Theatre