UKZN AND USA STUDENTS COLLABORATE ON BROADWAY MUSICAL

UKZN AND USA STUDENTS COLLABORATE ON BROADWAY MUSICAL

Young artists from the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas in the United States recently worked with talented UKZN singers and dancers to present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. 

South Pacific is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning musical set in the South Pacific Islands close to the end of World War II. 

Mr Lionel Mkhwanazi, a Lecturer at UKZN's Opera Studio and Choral Academy, said the show was chosen for its historical, educational, and social lessons at a time of great world stress and commitment.  

South Pacific is considered to be one of the greatest Broadway musicals. It tells the story of an American nurse, Ensign Nellie Forbush, stationed at a United States naval base during World War II, who falls in love with an expatriate French plantation owner but struggles to accept his mixed-race children.  

Issues of racial prejudice and intermarriage are candidly explored throughout the musical, which was first performed in 1949. 

Producer and Musical Director from SMU, Professor Barbara Hill-Moore, said: ‘This production was a learning experience for both universities, providing social opportunities and a chance for students to grow. We are looking forward to returning again next year.’ 

With a cast of 50 singers and dancers, the show was a great audience pleaser. ‘It was a mixture of excitement and nervousness but it was so great to work with such talented incredible people,’ said one of the American students, Dallas Caulkins. 

UKZN student Mr Ndumiso Nyoka said: ‘Being in this production forces you step out of your comfort zone and you are encouraged always to go beyond your best. I have learned so much from the US students and staff. They have given me my hope and faith back. We’ve established lifelong friendships.’


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za