Full-Time Course

The Market Theatre Laboratory offers an intensive full-time course in theatre and performance. The course is a minimum of one year long, after which students apply to continue into a second year.

The Market Lab has contributed, and aims to continue to contribute, to the South African theatre and entertainment industries by graduating young professionals who are skilful, talented, and disciplined. Furthermore, these graduates are able to tell important South African stories that might otherwise go untold. The Laboratory also has a profound impact on the students who participate in its courses. With affordable tuition fees, quality training and its close connection to the professional industry, the Laboratory is unique in what it can offer students from disadvantaged backgrounds with a passion for the performing arts. The intensive and comprehensive training it offers develops its students into young professionals who have the capacity, experience and knowledge to get work and build careers in a highly competitive industry. This is the core intention of the programme: to train actors and theatre-makers who will be able to make a good living and have sustainable careers, thus freeing themselves from the disadvantages and poverty that would have made this impossible without institutions such as the Laboratory.

Students focus on intensive training in various theatre disciplines aimed at creating multi-talented, multi-skilled performers. They are also introduced to other job prospects in the industry through short courses in stage-management, writing, directing and design.  The course is cross-curricular, so many modules overlap during various projects, allowing students to integrate and implement their learning, most importantly by rehearsing and performing productions during the year.

The first year course is divided into four terms and is 40 weeks long. It is designed to achieve the following aims:

  • To nurture the talent of young performers through intensive and comprehensive learning programmes.
  • To introduce the students to a wide range of performance styles, skills and approaches.
  • To develop the students’ conceptual understanding of theatre and theatre-making, including what is expected of the performer during the rehearsal and performance process.
  • To introduce the students to some of the other roles within the performing arts, including writing, design and stage-management.
  • To give the students opportunities to create and perform theatre through various processes, for a range of contexts and audiences.
  • To develop the flexibility, strength, stamina and expressive range of the students’ bodies and voices.
  • To encourage the development of each young artist through experimentation, reflection, critical thinking and risk-taking.

Students participate in the following modules:

Acting
Theatre-making
Movement
Mime and Physical Theatre
Voice
Singing
Theatre Studies
Theatre in Context
Stage-management (short course)
Design (short course)
Writing (short course)

This is an intensive training programme aimed at honing the body and voice to enable the students to become highly accomplished performers, while also providing opportunities for them to get as much performance experience as possible, to specialise in other areas of theatre, to be exposed to excellent theatre and exceptional theatre-makers, and to learn to facilitate. Students implement their performance skills by participating in the creation and performance of several productions. They are also given the chance to make and present work that they have written or conceptualised themselves, and to develop these pieces for professional performance after graduation.

The second year course is designed to achieve the following aims:

  • To develop young performers into theatre-makers.
  • To give the students opportunities to create and perform theatre through various processes, for a range of contexts and audiences.
  • To develop and maintain physical fitness and performance readiness through a disciplined routine of body and voice classes.
  • To give the students the opportunity to specialise in areas of interest, including directing, design and writing.
  • To prepare students for the professional arts industry
  • To encourage the development of each young artist through experimentation, reflection, critical thinking and risk-taking.
  • To develop the facilitation skills of the students and engage in community based activities.

Students participate in the following modules:

Performance Training: This element of the course focuses on honing and maintaining the expressive tools of the performer – the body and voice – through a disciplined and rigorous daily routine. This consists of a 90 minute class every morning, rotating through:

  1. Movement
  2. Mime
  3. Yoga
  4. Ballet
  5. Various physical classes of interest, including circus, contemporary dance, Afro-fusion and traditional African dance.
  6. Voice/Singing

Performance: Students participate in three productions during the year, each giving the students a different experience of theatre-making, performance, performance context and audience engagement.

Facilitation: This course is run in collaboration with the Hillbrow Theatre. It introduces the students to the principles of facilitation and teaching, and gives them the opportunity to make work in community-based contexts.

Professional Preparation: This module explores the skills, knowledge and attitude required to be a successful and financially viable performing arts practitioner. It includes the following two elements:

  1. The Business of Theatre
  2. Audition techniques for television and stage

Application Information

Applications for the full-time courses open in August and close at the end of September every year. Auditions are held in October, for which an audition brief is provided, and successful applicants are informed by the end of that month. Successful applicants are required to pay 50% of the tuition fee by the end of November, with classes running from January to November the following year.