Artscape

From ESAT
(Redirected from Artscape Theatre)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

NEEDS EXPANSION AND EDITING


Background

Historically the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) was instituted in the early sixties of the twentieth century to promote the performing arts in the Cape Province. The arts councils received sufficient government subsidies to fund various art forms as well as the operational requirements of the theatre facilities. CAPAB toured the province and programmed and managed the Nico Malan Theatre Centre as a production house with four arts companies – orchestra, opera, ballet and drama. These companies had full-time artistes, technical and administrative staff.

Notes on the history from the Artscape Theatre Centre website[1]:

Artscape Theatre Centre, which belongs to the provincial administration, was opened on 19 May 1971 as the Nico Malan Theatre Centre. Inline with the new South African political dispensation and the concurrent changes the complex was renamed to Artscape in March 2001.

Historically the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) was instituted in the early sixties of the twentieth century. The aim was to promote the performing arts. The arts councils received sufficient government subsidies to fund various art forms as well as the operational requirements of the theatre facilities.

CAPAB programmed and managed the Nico Malan Theatre Centre as a production house with four arts companies – orchestra, opera, ballet, and drama. These companies had full-time artists, technical and administrative staff.

Since 1994 government policy changed dramatically. All performing arts boards were transformed to playhouses and the various arts companies had to become independent. In 1997 the CAPAB staged its last play, The Guise, by David Mowat. It was staged as an ode to the closing down of CAPAB and the major theme of the play was the survival of theatre.

Artscape was launched on 27 March 1999 to replace CAPAB. Today it manages the theatre venues and provides essential technical and specialised services on a semi-commercial basis. The emphasis is on sustainable theatre practice, education and development.

Founding of Artscape

Since 1994 government policy changed dramatically. All performing arts boards were transformed to playhouses and the various arts companies had to become independent. Because of the immense political baggage carried by CAPAB, and more especially the Nico Malan Theatre (which had opened - to loud protest - in 1971 "for whites only" and had long been boycotted) the decision was made to change the name of the complex and its managing company. Thus Artscape was launched on 27 March 1999 to replace the old Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB).

The Artscape Theatre Centre

Soon after, in view of the history and in line with the new South African political dispensation and the concurrent changes, the old Nico Malan Theatre Centre was renamed also Artscape in March 2001.

Today Artscape manages the theatre venues of the Artscape Theatre Centre and provides essential technical and specialised services on a semi-commercial basis. The emphasis is on sustainable theatre practice, education and development.

Departments and Programmes

Artscape Indigenous Arts Department

Established in 2007, it aims to develop, mentor and preserve South African indigenous customs through the arts . With this comes the responsibility to affirm, by providing platforms for art forms, cultures and languages that have been previously marginalised. And all the while, artistic excellence remains at the core of development. Productions include *** Children of the Mist (2010)

Artscape New Writing Programme

A programme that supports new and established playwrights on an annual basis through a range of activities including workshops, stage readings and full scale productions. Originally launched by Roy Sargeant in 2005 to present new plays by both new and established playwrights. It is a support programme which accepts unsolicited manuscripts for evaluation, runs Playwriting Workshops and provides editorial support for writers. It has produced numerous successful plays, staged readings and showcases over the years.

Artscape Resource Centre

For more information on any of the above, go to the Artscape website at http://www.artscape.co.za/


Return to South African Theatre Venues, Companies, Societies, etc

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page