Klein Libertas-teater

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Klein Libertas-teater (“Little Libertas Theatre”) Stellenbosch.

See also: Klein Libertas Teater

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The Libertas Teaterklub

In die jare voor 1960 was daar van tyd tot tyd heelwat belangstelling in die amateur teater bedrywighede op Stellenbosch. Veral Charles Johnman en Betty Hugo het in die vyftiger jare produksies gehad wat groot opspraak verwek het. Op 5 April 1960 is die stigtingsvergadering van die Libertas Teaterklub onder leiding van Myrel Ginsburg gehou met Charles Johnman, Piet van Straaten, Myrel Ginsburg en Bobby Ohlsen as bestuurslede. Die komiteelede was Betty Hugo, M. de Villiers, Jane Turner, Marie Malherbe, Prof du P Erlank, mev P. Osler, Jim Allan en mnr Alexander. Die klub se eerste produksie is in die destydse Denne-oord skoolsaal gehou en met die donasies wat hulle by die deur ontvang het die aand, is die klub se eerste bankrekening geopen.

The Libertas Theatre Club was founded on 5 April 1960 in Stellenbosch, to provide theatre lovers of Stellenbosch with a club where they could satisfy their love for the performing arts and play an active rol in the development of the community. Local theatre lovers had dreamed of such a club for a very long time. The Libertas Theatre Club, as it was named, had it’s head office in the old wine cellar on the farm Vredelust in Dorp Street. (Later the well known De Kelder Restaurant opened at Vredelust.) In 1967, on the sale of the Vredelust farm, the club moved to the old stables on the Bergzicht grounds where it is still situated today.

Venues

The Vredelust Cellar

Om gemeenskapsprojekte te kan bedryf en finansier is dit sinvol dat die Klein Libertas ook kommersiële produksies akkommodeer. Onder die huidige bestuur is dus besluit om die Klein Libertasteater op verskeie bene te bedryf naamlik amateur-, kommersieel-, jeug- en gemeenskapsteater. Die teater is ook ‘n geregistreerde produksiehuis en stuur produksies regoor die land om aan die kunstefeeste deel te neem. Verskeie toekennings is al vir regie en spel ontvang. Die teater is betrokke by verskeie gemeenskapsprojekte.


The Little Libertas Theatre

The Libertas Theatre Club was founded on 5 April 1960 in Stellenbosch, to provide theatre lovers of Stellenbosch with a club where they could satisfy their love for the performing arts and play an active rol in the development of the community. Local theatre lovers had dreamed of such a club for a very long time. The Libertas Theatre Club, as it was named, had it’s head office in the old wine cellar on the farm Vredelust in Dorp Street. (Later the well known De Kelder Restaurant opened at Vredelust.) In 1967, on the sale of the Vredelust farm, the club moved to the old stables on the Bergzicht grounds where it is still situated today.

The munisipality agreed to let the old delapidated building on the Bergzicht market square to them and to fix it up to some extent. At the time the fire-brigade were using it. Die munisipaliteit was bereid om die ou vervalle skuur/stal wat op daardie stadium nog die eertydse eerste Stellenbosche brandweerwa gehuisves het, op die Bergzicht markplein aan hulle te verhuur en effens op te knap.

The name was changed to Klein Libertas-teater or Little Libertas Theatre to distinguish it from the Oude Libertas Theatre which had been constructed by Distell. In 199* it was briefly altered to serve as an art movie house by the owners of the Labia Theatre in Cape Town. When the venture failed, the theatre retained the seats, but reverted to being a performance space for live theatre, being rented to professional companies and performers, as well as local amateurs and the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department as the H.B. Thom Theatre became too small to house all the productions created by student writers and directors. Gradually a foyer was added and for many years the original stable door still separated the foyer from the intimate auditorium with its thick walls. In 2009 this was removed to create a much larger space. An outdoor stage for music and other outdooer events has since also been added.

Management

The Libertas Theatre Club was an amateur group and for many years the building was run by the LTC executive, with the help of Emile Aucamp, Valentyn ** and student technicians from the University Drama Department.

In 199* the Libertas Theatre Club created a multiple structure, including a professional section (letting the theatre to professionals), an amateur section (the Libertas Theatre Club) and an outreach project in the community and on farms.

In 1998(?) a paid manager was appointed, the first being Francois Toerien. In 2000 he was succeeded by Maryn Fourie?*, she in turn by Kabous Meiring for a brief while in 2002, before GiGi Fourie took over in the same year.

As the political structures in the country changed and the arts councils fell away, artists started creating their own work and needed venues to perform. The Little Libertas Theatre answered perfectly to this need and is therefore now not only used by amateurs and upcoming artists but more and more by professionals as well.

Productions

Initially the theatre basically allowed the amateurs to do annual productions, though some of those productions were of new South African work of some significance. Tien jaar na die stigting was die klub reeds so suksesvol dat hulle deur KRUIK genooi is om hul produksie van “Winners” deur Brian Friel en vervaardig deur Marie van Heerden, in die destydse Hofmeyr Teater in Kaapstad op te voer. Johann van Heerden en Sharon Montgomery was die twee akteurs. Die klub se nuusbrief, Ad Lib, het in Februarie 1981 vir die eerste keer verskyn.

So, until 1994 the Libertas Theatre was exclusively an amateur club, though - like anumber of others in the country , of some importance in terms of the local theatre history.

However, as the political structures in the country changed and the arts councils fell away, artists started creating their own work and needed venues to perform. The Klein Libertas Theatre answered perfectly to this need and thus was being used not only by amateurs and but more and more by upcoming artists and increasingly, seasoned professionals as well. Thus it began to function as a venue and even catalyst for Community theatre (such as the Pretty Ladies project), Children's and Youth theatre and Professional theatre as well.

In 2009 the Klein Libertas Theatre also registered as a professional production house – doing productions such as Want, kyk die bruidegom is hier and Hugo Claus's Pas de Deux, followed by **.


Sources

Ginsberg, Myril. nd. The Klein Libertas story until 1981. Newsletter in the archives of the Klein Libertas-teater, Stellenbosch.

Hauptfleisch, Temple 2009. Groot dinge wat groei uit ‘n beskeie akker(dorpie)… Eikestadnuus, ** April, 2009.

For more information

See also Libertas Teaterklub

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