#Stains, a play that took place in various locations around Gauteng, was written by Katlego Chale and looked at the stains of corruption on South Africa.

At the end of each show, the performers, Pristine Makhubele and Katlego Chale, asked the audience three questions: "What is corruption to you?", "How do we end corruption as you define it?", "Are you going to vote?"

These elicited moving and engaging responses from audience members, who expressed anger, despair, hope and the desire to change the way things are now. The discussion extended to social media, where the performances were streamed live on Facebook, and were viewed by several hundred people at a time. 

Tragedy breeds creativity

The #Stains team faced a significant hurdle just before they started rehearsing when their original director, Sbu Khwinana, unexpectedly passed away. They had to scramble to find a new director and their rehearsal time was cut down to less than two weeks due to their loss. Chale and Makhubele also had to find performance spaces in a short amount of time due to limited access to public spaces. However, all of these challenges bred creativity and the team decided to conduct more intensive rehearsals while staying together at an AirBnb, and chose to stream all of their performances live on Facebook. 

Break the chains and vote for change!

I improvise, therefore I exist!

The Stains cast and management team learned how crucial it is to rely on marketing, both in-person and online, as it helps to communicate where and when performances would be taking place. They also learned several tough lessons about improvisation, and managed to pull off a highly successful show. 

After each performance, Chale and Makhubele engaged with their audience on what corruption is, how we can end it and whether they were going to vote in the upcoming National Elections.

Teaching the youth about corruption

Each performance of the Stains production drew an in-person crowd of between approximately 30 to 80 people and were streamed live by a total of more than 6, 000 people on social media. The majority of audience members who attended the shows were students and community-based youth, meaning that several thousand young people were exposed to some of the biggest issues surrounding corruption in South Africa. This was an incredibly successful collaboration between creatives and journalists, despite several challenges along the way.