Donaldson Orlando Community Centre

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The name

Officially named the Donaldson Orlando Community Centre (DOCC), after its first sponsor, the Donaldson Trust. It is usually referred to by its acronym (DOCC) but has also been referred to as the Donaldson Orlando Cultural Club (DOCC) by a number of speakers and writers about theatre. This is most probably an error deriving from a misreading of the acronym. Among those using the alternative name are Ian Steadman, Philemon T. Wakashe (1986), Ramolao Makhene (cited by Geoffrey V. Davis and Anne Fuchs) and Loren Kruger. However the official name appears in most other documents, including interviews with Gcina Mhlope, the Donaldson Trust website and South African History Online.

It was later renamed the Orlando East Community Hall, though the DOCC acronym is still used by many.

Its function

A community centre and community hall in Soweto, originally funded by the Donaldson Trust, later by different organisations and trusts and run by people who live in Soweto. Uncomfortably squeezed into a corner of one of Soweto's busiest streets, the DOCC had no dedicated theatre space , just a fairly big room called "the hall" which offered little more than an all-purpose space with no theatrical facilities.

It was used for many activities including boxing (in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Nelson Mandela trained there), dancing, musical presentations (Miriam Makeba and Dolly Rathebe performed there), political meetings,

Mandla Dube was in charge in the early 1980s.

Its use for theatre

In 1976 FUBA was founded there.

Productions there include Maishe Maponya’s The Hungry Earth (1979), Pula (1982) ***

Used for the Soweto Festival since its inception (??**)

For more information

See also Donaldson Trust website at http://www.donaldsontrust.org/

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