Arts and Culture for Early Years       May 11 – 20, 2019        


Magnet Theatre, South Africa

May 15th – May 17th, 2018 at Intergalactic Arts Studio

Performances of Scoop have been dedicated to community groups and service organizations through the generosity of an anonymous donor.

Created by the Magnet Early Years Theatre Company

Directed by: Koleka Putuma
Assisted by: Jennie Reznek
Cast: Nolufefe Ntshuntshe, Sivuyile Dunjwa,
Babalwa Makwetu, Athienkosi Mfamela
Design: Nicola Date
Production Manager: Themba Stewart

Interactive Performance

Performed in a cozy tent using South African polyphonic singing, sounds and rhythms, babies are taken on an enchanting journey of stimulating sounds, and lights and textures created to soothe, surprise, and delight.

Through their sensitive interaction with their small audience, the four artists reveal for parents new and innovative ways to connect and communicate with the very young.

With the support of Harbourfront Centre and the Canada Council for the Arts, The WeeFestival will offer workshops to professional artists with backgrounds in dance and theatre creation led by Magnet Theatre’s artistic director Jennie Reznek and Koleka Putuma, the creator of Scoop.

SCOOP is the first ever South African baby play for mothers and babies between the ages of 2 weeks to 12 months. This play is performed in a self-contained tent, a relaxing space, and fits 6 moms and babies at a time. With the use of sounds, songs, lights and textures, babies are taken on an enchanting journey crafted to delight, surprise and soothe. Through intensive interaction with the babies, the four performers reveal innovative ways to connect and communicate with infants. The performance is 20 minutes long with 15 minutes play time after.

Review from Lynn Slotkin:

Scoop was enchanting and so illuminating about theatre, babies and  adults.

In one of the rooms of the Intergalactic Arts Studio, six infants and their mothers are invited to sit in a semi-circle on cushions in a warm, comfortable tent. Four performers in white jumpsuits with a colourful pocket sit amongst the babies and mothers and interact with the infants closest to them.

One of the performers begins playing a bowl-shaped stringed instrument. The babies are transfixed. And silent with awe. After a while the four sing, make rhythmic noises, create a percussive snapping patter with wood utensils, slurping sounds, bring out small containers that make rattling sounds, dangle silk material above the infants’ heads that delicately glide over their skin, click a little light on and off around them, put coloured light in a bowl and swirl it around and sing the names of each child.

Each ‘exercise’ is long enough to engage the infant but not so long as to overstay its welcome. Knowing when to shift and move to the next moment is one of the beautiful points to this gifted company and their joyful show. At every single turn the infants are engaged, alert and present in the moment. One mother moved her infant daughter’s legs in time to the music. I wondered it the child would learn this on her own or if she got a sense of rhythm from her mother.

At the end of the show, the infants were encouraged to play with all the things that had been used in the show. And they sure did play.

Artistic Director says: Scoop is a gorgeous experience for babies and parents that is sure to forge lasting memories while inspiring continued play at home.

About Magnet Theatre

Magnet Theatre is a high profile physical theatre company that has been operating in and out of South Africa for the past 30 years. Foregrounding the language of the body, they create exciting, innovative and sophisticated African theatre which engages with the present condition in South Africa.

Visit the Magnet Theatre website