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Maurice Podbrey’s Mopo Productions Brings Lara Foot Newton’s Inspiring Story of Redemption Based on True Events in an Austere South African Community

TORONTO, ON (January 21, 2009) –Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage 08:09 season continues with the critically acclaimed Tshepang, a compelling dramatic piece from playwright Lara Foot Newton produced by Mopo Productions. This overwhelming story of love, forgiveness, and coming to terms with an appalling calamity comes to Harbourfront Centre’s Studio Theatre, February 18-21, 2009.

Single tickets and specially priced packages for Tshepang and all World Stage performances are on sale through the Harbourfront Centre box office at 416-973-4000, or through

In 2001 South Africa was devastated by the news of a brutal assault on a nine month old child, who later became known as Baby Tshepang. Six men stood accused of this horrific crime, which created an international media frenzy when the small, poverty stricken town of Louisvaleweg in the Northern Cape region was inundated with television crews and reporters. Later it was discovered that the six men had been wrongly accused, but their highly publicized trial sent shockwaves through the country and hundreds of similar stories surfaced in the wake of this tragic event, driving awareness toward this dreadful epidemic.

Lara Foot Newton’s play is motivated by the factual events surrounding Baby Tshepang, and she uses the story to raise focus on the 20,000 cases of sexual assault on children per year in South Africa, consequently identifying a widespread social affliction that affects communities all over the world.

With two actors and carefully symbolic set design, Tshepang combines striking visual imagery with an African sense of magic realism. The audience is transported to a world where sadness and despair live next to love, humour and hope. Tshepang is both intimate and urgent, approaching a supremely difficult subject in a uniquely poetic manner.

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Tshepang - Mopo Productions (ZA)
February 18–20, 8:00 p.m.; February 21, 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Studio Theatre, York Quay Centre – 235 Queens Quay West
Tickets: $30.00 through 416-973-4000 or

Tshepang premiered at the Roots Festival, Amsterdam, in July 2003 and the entire audience waited outside the theatre to cheer the actors as they emerged. It has since toured all the major South African cities and rural areas playing to an overwhelming response from all population groups. In September/November 2004 the play toured London (the Gate Theatre for four weeks), Sweden and Switzerland. It toured Europe again in 2006, then Australia, Ireland and North America.

For further information about all World Stage and Harbourfront Centre events, please visit or call 416-973-4000.


Media contact: Cary Mignault | t 416-973-4655 |
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