Magnet Theatre interns take on different roles in latest production

Bulelwa Mbalo and Phakamani Waka are both FirstRand FirstJob interns with the Magnet Theatre.

Two Magnet Theatre interns from Khayelitsha are involved in the company’s current production of Snapped, which is back by popular demand at the venue in Observatory until Saturday September 23.

The play revolves around dealing with loss, grief and memories and is filled with hope and humour.

As company photographer, Phakamani Waka, 30, who attended Mandela High School, has taken several of the publicity shots for Snapped.

“What drew me to theatre,” he said, “was a love for photography and theatre. I have long wanted to be part of an established theatre organisation and when Magnet Theatre gave me the opportunity to do their photography and videography, I grabbed it with both hands.”

Snapped is his first attempt at shooting a theatre production and he has done an excellent job, according to Jennie Reznek, who together with Mark Fleishman co-founded Magnet Theatre, an independent physical theatre company that has been operating in and outside of South Africa for the past 37 years.

“Because the play’s title – Snapped – which refers to the photos or snaps that are a recurring theme in the production as part of the storyline and woven into the creative element, I can relate, especially when Jennie explains how snaps capture special moments forever. This is amazing to me.”

Bulelwa Mbalo, 25, is in Snapped as a member of the crew.

“In Snapped I am the one who moves the furniture around,” she laughs.

It was during Grade 10 to 12 at McAuley High School in Johannesburg that her love for theatre was born, as she studied drama.

Bulelwa was a student at Magnet Theatre from 2020 to 2022 and in July this year she became an intern, working as a technical assistant.

When asked about her thoughts on Snapped, Bulelwa shares that one of her takeaways is the issue of loss. “It is something that resonates with pretty much everyone. It took ‘Mama’ Jennie (Reznek) 15 years to realise she hadn’t fully mourned her father and this play unpacks her process which is very interesting to me and for the audience.”

In addition to creating original, award-winning productions, Magnet Theatre runs multi-layered educational programmes that help youth bridge the gap to tertiary education and employment in the creative economy.

Snapped tickets cost from R80 through Webtickets. The Magnet Theatre is on the corner of Lower Main and St Michael’s Roads in Observatory. Call the Magnet office on 021 448 3436 for more information.