The Market Theatre Laboratory presents the third Theatre Think Tank instalment, curated by provocateur Nondumiso Lwazi Msimanga. The Theatre Think Tank hosts Nondumiso and her Beloved Collective in Simapunapuna, an experimental reflection through the ritual practices of inhlambuluko; at a time of terse theatre and public performance cancelations and heightened awareness of the precarity of black performance artists.

The Theatre Think Tank instalments, funded by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), serve as an exploration and reflection on the wealth of knowledge enacted, embodied and performed by practitioners in the arts and culture field, specifically with the intention of gathering and organising this knowledge in a way that draws on the knowledge of local communities, and is made accessible to the greater community.

Speaking on the upcoming Theatre Think Tank, Cherae Halley, the head of The Market Theatre Lab has this to say:

“Not all knowledge is written. Artists carry embodied knowledge and the Theatre Think Tanks hosted by The Market Lab provides an opportunity for practitioners with such embodied and living knowledge to share it with our greater community. That is precisely what we can expect at this final Theatre Think Tank for 2023. Simapunapuna will make room for working artists to ‘bare it all’ and then invite our larger community to consider ‘at what cost?’ – a conversation we do not take seriously enough in our industry”.

For this event, we explore the ongoing naked practices of failure curated by Nondumiso Lwazi Msimanga with her Beloved Collective (an assemblage of artists in different pursuits, working through performance in an interdisciplinary fashion). Through public experiments, Nondumiso and the Beloved Collective continually and sacrilegiously play with ritual to create performance gatherings around questions often left to the ancestors and other spirits. At the Theatre Think Tank – Simapunapuna, Nondumiso and the Beloveds will, once again, expose themselves. They will ask, along with the artists of colour gathered:

“Can we risk vulnerability here? Can we fail through the fear? Fall? Flail? Land. Walk without having to hold it all in? Can we fetch our fallen and bring them home to play again? Dare you to risk vulnerability here!”

Simapunapuna will open up imisebenzi of the Beloved Collective as experiments in the practice of caring for the dead. An art practice of allowing blackness to stand naked in the performance arts industry and play. Dropping the façade. Allow the danger. Play at every level of making work.

The reflective experiment staged at the Market Square invites artists to collect and think through performance experiences about how the Beloved Collective is an offering for different ways of living (with thanks to Sara Ahmed, Zakes Mda, & Toni Morrison).

If you are engaged in the arts, or are just curious, don’t miss Simapunapuna, a Think Tank which takes place on Thursday 26th of October at The Market Theatre Laboratory in Newtown at 19h00.

To reserve your ticket for this free event, kindly book on webtickets. For information on reservations and further enquiries please contact The Market Theatre Laboratory on 011 838 7498 or contact Thandeka Nheke on thandeka@marketlab.co.za



About Nondumiso Lwazi Msimanga:

Nondumiso Lwazi Msimanga is a performance artist and provocateur, working at the intersections of the paradoxical. Where a world exists, too full of meaning for its bodies not to perish at consuming the other but, too empty to exist without its sites of ideas germinating more worlds to be cut up and eaten, here, the artist works; making rituals to enter convergence as a plein for co-exposure; asking questions with messy answers.

Nondumiso attends life as an artist and cultural critic who archives and makes, speculating on the artistic meanings of relationships. Her practice engages attunement and acts of misunderstanding.

Nondumiso inhabits various roles as an artist-writer, researcher, teacher, dramaturg. And is habitat for water and imimoya seeking connection. She is a child to her mother, aunt to her nephew, a sibling, friend, partner, and tree-hugger with friends, both living and dead.

Nondumiso is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

About the Market Theatre Lab:

Homed under the umbrella of The Market Theatre Foundation, The Market Theatre Lab is a multi-award-winning arts incubator, with a reputation for facilitating the development of exceptional young theatre-makers, facilitators, actors, writers and directors, and for creating innovative and relevant new plays. With multiple local, African and global partners, the Lab strives to create enriching experiences that contribute to the personal and artistic growth of each person who participates in our programmes. When the Market Theatre Laboratory opened its doors in 1989, the intention of its founders, Vanessa Cooke; Dr John Kani and Barney Simon, was to provide opportunities to talented youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who would not otherwise be able to pursue their passion for the arts or study further. This remains an integral part of The Lab’s purpose, along with a determination to assist young artists to build sustainable careers, and to create space and visibility for subaltern experiences, voices and identities.