The Hillbrow Theatre Project
In 2013, the Market Theatre Laboratory became a training and facilitating partner of the Hillbrow Theatre Inner City High Schools Festival. Each year since then, the Market Lab second year students are placed in a high school, where they facilitate a theatre making process once a week with a group of learners. The resulting production is presented at the festival in September. This addition to the Hillbrow Theatre’s support structure has provided a huge boost to the amount of facilitators able to work within inner-city schools. It also provides an opportunity for the Lab’s students to gain valuable facilitating and directing experience, and to work in community contexts sharing their knowledge and skills. In 2016, seven students and twenty-four graduates worked in high schools supporting the learners creative journeys. Five graduates have been with the programme for all four years.
2016 is the second year in which the Market Lab has collaborated with Pop Art Theatre to offer our second year students an innovative course called The Business of Theatre. While rehearsing a production, students study arts administration and entrepreneurship. They practice these key skills of marketing, contracting, budgeting, fundraising and logistics by implementing them in relation to the production they will perform in. As a group, they do all of the arts administration pertaining to the production for a run at Pop Art Theatre, while staying at the Maboneng Backpackers. Their goal is to sell enough tickets to pay their accommodation and technical costs. Thus, it’s a highly practical introduction to the realities of the industry, and the multiple skills you need to build a successful career. This year, the students have presented two plays at Pop Art Theatre: Zakes Mda’s And the Girls in Their Sunday Dresses, directed by Lab alumni Salome Sebola, and UShakes!, a medley of scenes and monologues from Shakespeare’s plays, directed by Lab Education Officer Clara Vaughan.
ODDMANOUT Theatre and British Council Connect ZA
The British Council Connect ZA have awarded a grant to UK-based theatre company ODDMANOUT and the Market Theatre Laboratory to create a new theatre work based on a cultural exchange between twelve young people from South Africa and the UK. The production, to be performed in both countries in 2017, will engage with a contemporary, inter-disciplinary creative approach to explore the experience of being a young woman in the 2010’s.