“I look up to all artists who truly do it for the sake of making art and not for selfish gain.” ~ Saree van Coppenhagen, performing artist.
If you had given up on ever coming across an artist who loves the art more than the glamour, then encountering her will rewrite your thoughts and give you a new perspective. To her, the stage is not a pedestal for selfish gains, but a place of honour and respect for her audience.
Her name is Saree van Coppenhagen and she holds a BA (Hons) degree in Drama and Theatre Arts from the University of the Free State.
Watching Saree on set gives the beholder a perfect definition of a good actress. She is present. She is challenging. She fits in the shoes of her character, yet maintains her own signature walk.
Saree characterises “Lulu Levine” in the much-anticipated play, Love, Crime and Johannesburg. She finds this role simultaneously challenging and exciting, especially because of its cultural richness.
“With Love, Crime and Johannesburg, I enjoy the acting and adapting into a new character. I love this experience, especially as this is the first time I play a character that has such an interesting culture,” explains the Bloemfontein-born joint award-winning actress—in 2017 she shared the Best Female Actress award with her teammate Boitumelo Mohutsioa for their outstanding performance in Steke.
In addition to Steke, which she regards as the highlight of her career, Saree has been featured in Around the World in 80 Days, a play by University of the Free State students, directed by Thys Heydenrych, which renowned director Masedi Manenye hailed as a “beautiful comedy performed with grace” on his Facebook.
Furthermore, she was part of the 2017 Afrikaans piece, Andries Anders 2.
Saree says her philosophy in life is to never do it for yourself but to do it for the “play”, and goes on to explain: “If you make sure the bigger picture is seen, the rest will follow.”
What should we expect from her when Love, Crime and Johannesburg opens?
“You can hopefully expect me to remember my lines, or more so the dance moves.”
Saree belongs to a class of artists who are not afraid of the unknown. Hers is a generation that embraces difference without artistic prejudice. She is ranked among the leaders of the new school of performers who prioritise art over ego.
This rare capability, which she nonetheless normalises with her on-stage brilliance, is among the many good reasons why you cannot under any circumstances afford to miss Love, Crime and Johannesburg from 20 – 24 March 2018 at Andre Huguenet Theatre, PACOFS. Tickets cost R80.
PICTURE CREDIT: Willem Esterhuyse