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Lesedi Job: 969's Helen of Troyeville Director

- Wits University

Award winning Wits alumna, Lesedi Job returns to Wits for the 969 Festival with Helen of Troyeville which she directs.

Helen of Troyeville is a poetic work reflecting on the complexities of contemporary South Africa from the eyes of a grandmother who finds herself in a life-threatening situation.

Job, was recently named the winner of the 4th annual Sophie Mgcina Emerging Voice Award. The Award is presented each year by the Market Theatre Foundation to a leading young creative who excels in their career. The recipient of the Award receives the invaluable opportunity to present a work on one of the stages at the Market Theatre. This year’s announcement coincided with the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Market Theatre.

She obtained her Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Dramatic Arts from Wits. Her professional theatre debut was in James Ngcobo's The Lion and the Jewel (2008) and she has since worked with him in Touch my Blood (2009Colored, Museum (2014) , Ketekang (2014) , Letters to Mandela (2015) , I almost remember: a tribute to Maya (2015) and, A Raisin in the Sun (2016) . In 2013 she starred in Curl up and Dye directed by Sue Pam Grant .

In 2014 she performed in Lara Foot's Fisher's of Hope which went on to be performed in Vienna and Germany, and received a Naledi Theatre Award nomination for best performance by a leading actress. In 2016 she had the opportunity of assisting director Adrian Noble during a workshop of the new Musical Sousatzka which was staged in 2017 at the Elgin theatre, Toronto. The year 2017 marked Job's directorial debut with the premier of Mike Van Graan’s When Swallows Cry followed by her direction of Omphile Molusi's Itsoseng both productions were staged at the Market Theatre.

Previous winners of the Sophie Mgcina Emerging Voice Award are choreographer and dancer Lulu Mlangeni (2014), writer and director Khayelihle Dom Gumede (2015) and Sonia Radebe (2016). Since winning the award all three have gone on to winning other accolades. Sonia Radebe is this year’s Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner.

Job’s joins their ranks after making a significant impact for her successful work at the Market Theatre. Earlier this year, she directed the world premiere of Mike van Graan’s When Swallows Cry, playing to sold out shows, glowing accolades and standing ovations at every performance.

Last month, she directed Brett Goldin Award winner Omphile Molusi’s ten year running play, Itsoseng, by re-imagining the solo work as an ensemble piece. During April, she was invited to participate at the Crossing Cultures & Continents conference in the USA to discuss and perform an extract from Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Later this year, she will perform alongside Fiona Ramsay in If We Dig to be directed by Megan Willson.