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Janni Younge Donald obtained her DMA from ESNAM in 2002 and went on to complete an MA (Masters) in Theatre (University of Cape Town 2007). Janni has produced several original puppet theatre productions that have been performed widely nationally and internationally.

In 2005 she was initiator and director of Out the Box: festival of puppetry and visual performance, (produced by UNIMA SA) now having completed its fifth year (2010) as a 10 day international festival, attended by more than 10000 people. In 2006 she launched the UNIMA SA Active Puppets training and development program now which trains professional puppeteers from historically disadvantaged communities on a year-round basis.

2004-2006 Janni co-curated, managed and hung an exhibition of Malian and South African puppets in South Africa and New York. In 2008 she was the head of the puppet department (studio and manipulation) on the television pilot for Z News (political satire) In 2009 Janni made and choreographed the puppets for The Tempest, a Baxter Royal Shakespeare Company co-production which toured South Africa and the UK.

Janni was named the 2010 Standard Bank Young Artist for theatre. She won a Fleur du Cap 2010 for the masks of Pictures of You . She was also nominated for puppets and masks created for The Tempest and Quack!.

In 2010, Janni presented Ouroboros, her Young Artist production at the National Arts Festival. The production was very well received and will run in the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town June 2011. Janni is now part of the Handspring Puppet Company.





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