Zena’s play aims for the stars

New York-based Zena Wood is preparing to stage her play about space exploration in Cape Town.

Zena Woods, a film-maker who grew up in Kuils River but is now based in New York, is preparing to stage her show, Space Weather Girl, at the Drama Factory in Cape Town from December 6 to 11.

She’s already in Cape Town rehearsing. Developed in 2018, Space Weather Girl celebrates space exploration. Woods’s previous project won Best Short at the Cannes Short Film Festival in 2020.

“I’ve been producing since 2014 when I moved to New York. I have combined performing and producing on and off, and I really enjoy being behind and in front of the camera, or in some cases, on stage,” Woods tells Northern News in an interview.

Going into theatre production was a default decision for her as her mother is a theatre-maker, she says.

“I’ve made many plays and were in some too. I always enjoyed the energy of it and the spaces,” she says.

She gets her inspiration from American film writer and comedian Amy Poehler, whom she describes as an “awesome personality”, talented and a dedicated film buff.

What prompted her to do this play?

“I’ve always loved space and looking up at the stars,” she says. “I think we can learn a lot from our surroundings as a rock in space.”

Asked how different the Cape Town theatre industry is compared to Broadway, she says: “New York has a lot of theatres – big and small. And many people go out to enjoy theatre. People also enjoy it here, I’d say it’s just more spread out. And we don’t have a subway.”

In 2014, she left Kuils River to pursue her film-making career.

She describes her production as a fun holiday show for the whole family.