A world of make believe

Having started her acting career in Canada, Frances-Jane Van Wyk is now the new production coordinator for the National Theatre of Namibia.

08 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Justicia Shipena

Frances-Jane Van Wyk was appointed as the new production coordinator for the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) on 1 February.

Van Wyk works closely with the artistic director to produce quality shows for the theatre. Her roles also include programming and facilitating productions at the theatre and coordinating with all departments to make sure everything is running smoothly.

She attended her post-secondary education in Vancouver, Canada.

She holds an associate of arts degree in theatre and psychology, which she obtained at Douglas College in New Westminster.

Van Wyk also obtained diplomas in acting for film, television, theatre and voice-over from Douglas College and the Vancouver Acting School.

She told Careers that her training as an actor was always the key and she believes you never stop learning, and as an actor you should keep training. Hence, she trained professionally at Railtown Actors Studio in Vancouver until she moved back to Namibia in 2018.

“Psychology was a passion I picked up due to my support of mental health awareness and the need for more knowledge. As it turns out psychology is a great partner to have in the arts, especially acting,” she said.

She added that in acting you deal with your own emotions and your character’s emotions, your experiences and creating your character’s experiences, and having knowledge in psychology is an asset.

Before she joined NTN she was the store lead at the Children’s Place in Canada, as well as the front of house manager at Railtown Actors Studio.

Van Wyk said she has had many career highs as an actor and there is nothing like the feeling of being emotionally available for your character and scene partner.

She added one of the top highlights of her career happened in 2017 when she played Scarlett in the play ‘Lion in the Streets’ by Canadian playwright Judith Thompson.

“Scarlett was a young woman with advanced cerebral palsy, she was confined to a chair and very emotionally scarred due to her disability and insecurities brought on by the way others have treated her,” she said.

Van Wyk said although she was in the chair for most of her time on stage, she never felt freer as an actor. Scarlett allowed her to release emotions she didn’t realise she had or could produce. She said because of Scarlett’s very laissez-faire attitude she wasn’t constricted, despite being in a wheelchair.

“I learned how to be a commanding presence by just sitting and being present. She taught me power and how to use my voice and body to convey that power in stillness. My biggest lesson I learned from Scarlett, however, was compassion for others and their vulnerabilities,” she said.

Van Wyk told Careers that she has not faced any challenges at NTN as yet. However, should a challenge come her way she will face it head-on and handle it with patience, an open mind and with a sensitivity to others’ perspectives and their emotions.

She hopes to use her knowledge to produce quality work that all Namibians can enjoy as well as participate in. She also hopes to learn from her peers in the arts and hopes they can learn something from her.

“The theatre and the arts have a soft spot in my heart, I hope to see that passion realised in others through the work I produce,” she said.

Besides being in the office she spends time with her family and friends as they are her support system and have groomed her into the woman she is today. She enjoys kickboxing and yoga. To increase her creatively she reads, writes and paints.

“I’m a firm believer in engaging your creativity, no matter your skillset; it helps you open your mind and allows for different perspectives. Due to mental health awareness, my free time is spent taking care of myself mentally and physically, and being there for family and friends,” she added.

Similar News


Poignant, local

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Local Film and Media Production Company Ndapunikwa Investments has partnered with Ster Kinekor to premier the official trailer for Hairareb, a locally produced romantic drama...

Character is key

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Allison Triegaardt, one of Africa's leading storytelling and creative consultants, was in Namibia last week to meet with local producers to educate on them how...

#TeamRiky takes an early lead

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

By the end of this week's exciting second episode of The Voice South Africa Season 3, coach Riky Rick had eked out a lead for...

Nama festival set for end May

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

The second edition of the annual Nama Cultural Festival will take place from 30 May until 2 June 2019 at the Westdene Stadium in Keetmanshoop....

On the rise to stardom

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Max Moalusi, better known as Max Jnr, has been on the scene for two-and-a-half years but has the style and agility of someone who has...

Anele Mdoda is heading to the Oscars!

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

The countdown to Hollywood's most prestigious ceremony, the 91st Annual Academy Awards has begun, and this year, Hollywood will be graced by Host of DStv's...

A world of make believe

1 week ago - 08 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Justicia Shipena Frances-Jane Van Wyk was appointed as the new production coordinator for the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) on 1 February. Van Wyk...

KFC DJs break barriers

1 week ago - 08 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

For a long time they have been quiet but now this dynamic trio is taking Namibia by storm. The KFC DJs will drop their first...

Doors open for international fame

1 week ago - 08 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Annually, the International ARTS Talent Showcase is hosted in South Africa at Tsogo Sun, the Silverstar Casino, where actors, models, singers and dancers from all...

'I am blind'

1 week ago - 08 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment

The first exhibition for 2019 at the Goethe Institute Namibia, I am blind, which stems from the Blind Photography Project, captures the perception and experiences...

Latest News

Ondangwa creates 'home' for illegal...

17 hours ago | Government

ONDANGWA – The Ondangwa Town Council plans to relocate over 100 illegal settlers from Uutala to the Onantsi area, where it recently serviced 120 plots.Uutala...

Gold at two-week high on...

17 hours ago | Business

Gold prices rose to their strongest level in more than two weeks yesterday as the US dollar weakened on hopes the United States and China...

Noordoewer seeking status as a...

17 hours ago | Government

NOORDOEWER – The councillor of the Karasburg West Constituency, Paulus Ephraim, has urged government to consider proclaiming the settlement of Noordoewer a town as the...

No retrenchments at ODC, NDC

17 hours ago | Government

The head of the newly established Namibia Industrialisation Development Agency (NIDA), Uparura Kuvare, says no staff members of the former Offshore Development Company (ODC) and...

Drought fear looms large

17 hours ago | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT Namibia faces a 150 000-tonne grain shortfall by the end of April this year, as...

Two in court after record...

17 hours ago | Justice

ILENI NANDJATO Northern businessmen Paavo Hatutale (47) and co-accused Nicodemus Shekunyenge (21) appeared before the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with...

No limits for Doeseb

17 hours ago | People

Michelline Nawatises Axali Doeseb has been playing ice hockey since 2003.Every day after school he would jump the Tagesheim aftercare centre’s fence to watch...

The weight of expectation

17 hours ago | Columns

A huge weight of expectation will undoubtedly rest on political leaders vying for office later this year. While there is a sense that the current...

The lack of sexual ideology...

17 hours ago | Columns

Justicia Shipena Not only does thinking about sex matter, it matters more to humanity than sex in itself. There are many instances of the...

Load More