The Soweto community was in need for a proper formal theatre space. Prior to 2012, theatre companies were mobile and performances would be held in community halls.[i]

The City of Johannesburg commissioned Afritects to design the Soweto Theatre with the intent of being a modern facility, and still have cohesion with the structures of the community.[ii] The project was part of a larger redevelopment plan for Jabulani and the budget was allotted at R150 million.[iii] The aim was that the theatre would provide a space for the development and expression of arts and culture in the community.[iv]

The Soweto Theatre. Image source

The finished project, headed by Clara Crus de Almerda and Tatenda Mavunga, is a has a visual impact on the area.’[v] It contains three performance venues, the largest of which is a red 436 seater venue. The blue theatre seats 120 people and the yellow theatre seats 80 people. There is an indoor and an outdoor foyer, multilevel changing rooms, art collections and a bar. The theatre is also open to be used for conferences, music concerts and functions.[vi]

The Soweto Theatre opened on the 25th of May 2012, with the production of The Suitcase.[vii] It was a story by the late Es’kia Mphaphele and featured music by Hugh Masekela, choreography by Gregory Maqoma and directed by James Ngcobo.[viii]

End Notes

[i] Donna Bryson, “The Soweto Theatre: Making theatre matter again”, Mail and Guardian, 24 May 2012, https://mg.co.za/article/2012-05-23-the-soweto-theatre-making-theatre-matter-again.

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Ibid

[v] “Soweto Theatre”, Portfolio, Accessed 18 April 2017, https://www.portfoliocollection.com/visit/soweto-theatre.

[vi] Ibid

[vii] Donna Bryson, “The Soweto Theatre: Making theatre matter again”, Mail and Guardian, 24 May 2012, https://mg.co.za/article/2012-05-23-the-soweto-theatre-making-theatre-matter-again.

[viii] Ibid

References

Bryson, Donna. “The Soweto Theatre: Making theatre matter again”, Mail and Guardian. 24 May 2012, https://mg.co.za/article/2012-05-23-the-soweto-theatre-making-theatre-matter-again.|“Excitement greets new Soweto Theatre”, City of Johannesburg. 19 June 2012, https://joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8075&catid=88&Itemid=266.|“Soweto Theatre”, Portfolio. Accessed 18 April 2017, https://www.portfoliocollection.com/visit/soweto-theatre.

Soweto Theatre