Joburg City Theatres: developing the youth and community

Joburg City Theatres provide training in the form of education and support programmes and workshops that are related to theatre-making and other forms of performing art production.

    Young people desire to create change in their surrounding environments, Joburg City Theatre develops partnerships between youth organisations and community development agencies to create new opportunities for youth to serve their communities while developing their personal abilities.
     Joburg City Theatre hosts a variety of Community and Youth Development programmes spread across Joburg Theatre, Soweto Theatre and Roodepoort Theatre.
     Youth Development Venue Space.com offers structured and professional opportunities to aspirant artists. This platform creates income-generating opportunities through tickets sales for artists who produce their own work.
     The Applied Performing Arts and Arts Management (APAAM) programme is a three-year short course provided at Joburg Theatre in partnership with the Wits University, Drama for Life. The short course has been instrumental in preparing community theatre groups to become theatre game chargers.

     Music has been a major priority for the arts industry. In recognising the importance of growing talent in South African townships, Youth Unplugged host the musical talent, featuring bands and vocalists. The musical talent discovered showcases on stage in the theatre.
     The DNA for actor’s workshops serve as a bridging course, providing a tutorial programme for those who graduate from institutions of drama and need to make their way into the performing arts industry.
     Community Outreach Projects are created for access to the performing arts and to promote arts education utilising the Mobile Theatre Truck. Community development partners with communities to enhance the quality of life by allowing communities to participate in performing arts activations.
     The Soweto Theatre’s Youth and Community Development Department is mandated to provide structured and professional opportunities to aspirant artists and new audiences for in-depth development of their artistic skills and development of arts and culture within the community through its programmes.

Join the Music Tutorial Programme (MTP) with your band:
Music has always played a major role in the arts industry and Soweto Theatre recognises the importance of growing talent in South African townships. More importantly, the need to produce the next generation of musical greatness as a form of preserving the authenticity of our communities.
     The Music Tutorial Programme (MTP) makes music education available to an increasing number of children and youth in and around Soweto, catering for children and youth from the ages of 10 to 21. The programme also provides music qualification support through the Unisa Music Foundation.
     The programme runs a schools’ music outreach programme in partnership with Concerts SA, facilitating music workshops, promoting the culture of live music in schools, engaging different audiences from different cultural backgrounds.

Join Lits’omong:
Lits’omong, is a drama development programme that provides basic theatre-making skills for children and youth from the ages of 7 to 21 years. The aim of the programme is to use theatre as a learning tool, to introduce learners to basic skills of theatre; to provide a safe space where the youth can explore social issues through theatre; and to create a platform for learners who have an interest in the arts.
     To participate, one must go through an audition process, which takes place in January.

Motivate for your school to join the Schools’ Setwork Festival:
The Schools’ Setwork Festival is an opportunity for youth to make their theatre debut on a professional stage in a non-competitive environment. The theatre provides the scripts, resources, training and framework needed by schools to direct a setwork with their students.
     The Schools’ Setwork Festival forms part of an annual schools program which also includes the professional staging of school setworks. These works cover the following areas in the school’s curriculum, language, history and drama. These productions are an excellent tool used by teachers to enhance the teaching and learning experience for their learners. Complex concepts contained within texts are brought to life on stage.

How to get involved in development at the theatre:
Become a facilitator or director in our programme; aspirant theatre-makers, drama teachers and directors can submit their bios or profiles to Khosi Hlatshwayo, Community Development Manager via email: khosi@sowetotheatre.com or to register your school for the Schools’ Setwork Festival contact Youth Development Intern, Mpho Chiloane, mpho@sowetotheatre.com or call Soweto Theatre on 011 930 7461.

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