Join the UJ Arts Academy 2021

Welcome to the UJ Arts Academy, a free extramural programme offered to students from across the University!

Here is what UJ students can expect in 2021.


R&J Unplugged

UJ Arts & Culture is proud to launch its first-ever podcast series with R&J Unplugged, an adaptation and isiZulu translation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Amid their family feud, we see love erupting between Romeo and Juliet. A family feud between makes it difficult for the young couple to be together and Juliet has heard that she is to marry someone of her father’s choice. R&J Unplugged is an educational podcast-series, targeted at secondary school learners working with the script as a prescribed work. The process will see Dr. Jerry Mofokeng and other leading professionals in the industry mentor selected students and the creative team. Audition details are available in the application form.

Drama Week

Ten students will be selected for Drama Week, a video-series of ten outdoor performances around the UJ Arts Centre (APK). The videos will be launched during the 2021 UJ Arts Academy Showcase. The programme is targeted at actors with potential, regardless of previous training. Selected students will go through an intensive socially distant two-week rigorous training process. Depending on the University’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic at the time, the programme might be re-designed to align with restrictions and regulations.

Play Reading Club

With the wealth of groundbreaking South African plays at our disposal, we present the UJ Arts Academy’s Play Reading Club designed to develop theoretical knowledge and understanding of scriptwriting (storytelling) and theatre making in general while celebrating local content. Five South African plays will be read over the course of the year, followed by an online interviews with the playwrights.

Playwriting Masterclass Series

UJ Arts & Culture is passionate about the development of new work. To this end, the department will present six masterclasses focused on different aspects of playwriting. Presented by professional and published playwrights, the series will commence with Introduction to Playwriting followed by From Page to Stage, Characterisation & Identity, Action Tension & Conflict, Dialogue & language and IP, Copyright & Publication.



UJ Poetry is back! With the success of the Izimbongi Poetry Festival in 2020, UJ Arts & Culture is proud to continue the virtual experience. In addition to our already incredible poetry programme, this year the division brings an exciting three-part educational programme that will cover poetry writing, publishing and performance. Each educational programme will include a masterclass specific to the course presented by notable poets such as Lebo Mashile. Poetry is perfected through performance, so this year, poetry lovers have monthly poetry slams to look forward to. Under the guidance of wordsmith Quaz, the poetry programme is one to look out for.



UJ Arts & Culture, in partnership with Broken Borders Art Project, will be producing a dance production in the second semester. Auditions will be conducted and a limited number of dancers will get the chance to work with two world renowned choreographers who are in residence UJ Arts & Culture. In addition to the production, selected students will participate in the Broken Borders Arts Project 2021 Season and feature in the UJ Arts Academy 2021 Showcase. If you think you have what it takes, make sure to complete our registration form. Audition details will be shared during the term.



Calling all students who fancy themselves an amateur photographer to join the UJ Arts Academy Photography Club. The club will operate on WhatsApp and be a great platform for students to share beautiful and interesting images taken by themselves and other photographers. A photography master class will be included during the course of the second term and the best original images by students collected during the course of the year will be exhibited during the 2021 UJ Arts Academy Showcase.



Theatre Appreciation Programme

Igniting the love of the arts, the Theatre Appreciation Programme gives students a free online front-row seat to all the theatre productions that will be produced by UJ Arts & Culture and its partners in 2021. Students will receive invitations to screenings of productions and have opportunities to interact with the amazing artists UJ Arts & Culture collaborates with.

Visual Art Appreciation Programme

The Visual Art Appreciation Programme fosters an appreciation and understanding of visual art. Students are encouraged to either make an appointment to go visit the gallery (only individual pre-bookings are permitted) or see the exhibition on Arts & Culture’s online gallery called the Moving Cube. This year’s exhibition programme kicks off with Lwandiso Njara’s Engineering the new Jerusalem III: The Digital City, followed by Diane Victor’s Folly, Frailty and Fear and Pauline Gutter’s Regeneration. By mid-year, much-anticipated video work, ghosted matter/phantom hurt, by Leora Farber will be released on Moving Cube followed by the Right of Admission Retrospective and Paul Emmanuel’s Substance of Shadows. Following the successful release of Willem Boshoff’s Blind Alphabet docu-series released on Moving Cube last year, an exhibition of forty artworks of Boshoff’s Blind Alphabet, Letter B: Babery to Bigeminate will be exhibited at the UJ Art Gallery.

Film Appreciation Programme

The programme, presented in partnership with Love Infinity Media through their Umbono screenings, will see African films screened online during the course of the year. Each screening will be followed by a facilitated discussions with the filmmakers and questions and answers sessions.

Dance Appreciation Programme

The Dance Appreciation Programme will introduce aspiring student dancers to the careers of five multiple award-winning choreographers where students will get an opportunity to participate in facilitated discussions and ask questions. The programme will be presented online and students who sign up will receive invitations to screenings.


UJ Arts & Culture Virtual Showcase

The UJ Arts & Culture Virtual Showcase will be the culmination of some of our student performances in 2021. Content for the festival will include the Izimbongi Festival, Arts Academy Drama Week, UJ Arts Acadamy dance production and the release of the R&J Unplugged podcast cast.

For more information send a WhatsApp to :

Drama – 083 331 7115 (Ayanda)

Poetry & Photography – 082 500 5950 (Asiphe)

Dance & Arts Appreciation – 078 370 1305 (Musa)