Marlene le Roux is currently Chief Executive Officer for The Artscape Theatre Centre. She has received numerous South African and International Awards in arts education and leadership. Le Roux started the Audience Development and Education Department at Artscape.
Name one artist you would love to meet.
I work with a myriad of local and international artists and would not be able to give an unbiased answer.
However, I would love to meet Barbara Hendriks and Andrea Bocelli – against all odds, they have conquered the world of the performing arts.
What are you reading at the moment?
I like to read numerous books at the same time: Henri J.M. Nouwen: Adam: God’s Beloved (I recently lost my son, angel, Adam); Simon Bruinders: Die Sideboard (To understand our diversity more); Mongane Wally Serote: To Every Birth Its Blood (To again gain insight into our past) and Jacques Pauw: The President’s Keepers (To understand why history is repeating herself).
What is in your car’s CD player?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I put too much pressure on myself.
How have the arts industries in South Africa changed over the last ten years?
Change has occurred in leadership, which has brought an environment for change and transformation. Access, which had previously been denied, and places which had previously been privileged are now being opened up for all the citizens of this country. Although change has occurred on paper, it is now our mandate to bring the possibility of being patrons and contributors of art into the minds and lives of those previously excluded.
The industry is vibrant, and up-and-coming artists have a future.
Name one thing you think would improve the arts and culture industry in South Africa.
How the arts are being funded. Not enough emphasis on sustainable funding. Funding should be made much more accessible. Too much paperwork and bureaucracy.
What is your most treasured possession?
Pictures of my deceased son, Adam. And my daughter Aimee.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The death of my son.
What is it that makes you happy?
That my 75-year-old mother is still alive.
Describe a defining moment in your life.
When I mastered the art of the slow waltz, as I am disabled.
What projects will you be busy with during 2017 and into 2018?
Our schedule is done for 2018/2019 – a variety of schools/development programmes and musicals. We are busy everyday of the year. For January 2018, Cinderella on Ice. Then all the setworks for grade 12s. We will have the women/humanity festival, heritage, etc.
Our Artist in Residence is the renowned indigenous instrumentalist, Dizu Plaatjies.
Name one goal you would like to achieve in the next twelve months.
I never live by goals. I take every day as it comes. But I plan meticulously.