The Market Theatre Laboratory starts 2024 by presenting the fourth Theatre Think Tank instalment, curated by the cross-disciplinary artist, Bongile Lecoge-Zulu.

The Theatre Think Tank Where Are Your Papers?! will investigate, through several selected excerpts of epilogues and dialogue, performance as a holder for stories of migration and immigration in South Africa.

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 makes this 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:

“Performers are tasked with the responsibility to tell stories, and the migrant story is not always an easy one to tell. The Market Theatre Lab therefore looks forward to inviting our creative community to consider the ways in which we use performance as a vehicle to hold such narratives. What are we to consider? What have we not yet considered? Where Are Your Papers!? will remind us all of what it means to be both a story listener and a story teller in our creative industry.”

This Theatre Think Tank will invite plenary dialogue interspersed with moments to view existing works and creative insights. Bongile Lecoge-Zulu has curated the discussion for the artist, writer, singer and performer, asking questions such as “How do we honour and hold the migrant story?” “How do artists find the compassion in their approaches?” “Is performance an adequate vessel for such stories?” and “How do we make good art but not at the cost of exploiting the human?”

Where Are Your Papers!? will be the Market Theatre Laboratory’s first event for 2024, hosted at the Market Square.Performance practitioners are invited to join in on the discussion as The Market Theatre Lab kick starts the year with intentional storytelling.

If you are engaged in the arts, or are just curious, don’t miss the Where Are Your Papers!? Theatre Think Tank which takes place on Thursday 25th of January 2024 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

About Bongile Lecoge-Zulu:

Bongile Gorata Lecoge-Zulu works with and across contemporary performance, music, theatre, education, facilitation, writing and curation. Lecoge-Zulu has performed in ensembles, bands and theatres across Southern Africa, Europe and the USA, and is currently involved in multiple experimental interdisciplinary projects wherein much of her investigation has to do with the possibilities generated by merging music with other art forms. Her practice is therefore deeply collaborative, collective and generative.

Bongile 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.