christelle van graan
This go-getting and passionate woman is a diverse and skilled performer, with a love and respect for theatre, writing, designing and making of all kinds of things from masks and puppets to costumes and sets. She studied Speech Therapy and Audiology for 2 years at the University of Pretoria, and then Drama at the same academic institution, where she completed her BA Drama degree, acted in, directed, choreographed and wrote many productions; highlights including shows like “Shiftings” (which explored the sociocultural identity and issues surrounding refugees and illegal immigrants), and “Boys in the Backroom”, which travelled to the Grahamstown National Art's Festival in 2008 (this piece delved the constructs of sexual identity during times of war), and the controversial “ 'k ben een Afrikaan(der)” which even made the campus press, front page! She has worked in the Arts and Entertainment Industry since 2010 and have done an extensive variety of things – from educational and developmental theatre (for very young to adults) for companies like Productions 2000, Pit Productions, and ShakeXperience, to theatre productions at festivals like The Grahamstown National Arts Festival, most recently with “Hearts Hotel” directed by James Cunningham, and the UJ Oh So Gay Festival; from physical theatre performance and choreography with Kyla Davis and Daniel Buckland as part of the Le Club movement, to starring in and writing for several award winning short-films for the 48 Hour Film Festival, and the most recent, Beau Belle Cosmetics (2012) which was the overall festival winner and was awarded the opportunity to participate in the 2013 African Season in Paris, France, to mask work (performance, design, and making of) and various styles of puppetry (performance, design, and making of) for companies like Well Worn Theatre Company and Dark Laugh Productions. Christelle also has a passion for working with children and communities and have been part of many initiatives working in these fields. She has completed the ASSITEJ Workshop Facilitators Course and have developed many workshops for learners as well as teachers, specifically in the subject of Creative Arts (as part of the new academic prescribed curriculum). She believes firmly in creating creative opportunities and have co-founded Pôkô Productions (together with Chris van Rensburg and Cindy Swanepoel) that specialize in creating original and exciting theatre using traditional methods of storytelling. Her hands are always busy with designing and/or making all sorts of things from Sets and Costumes, to commissioned art works and installations. And then, to top it all, she's a writer of short-stories, scripts, poetry and plays.