Etienne Rousseau Theatre

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The Etienne Rousseau Theatre (aka ERT) is a performance venue in Sasolburg in the Free State

The venue

The Sasol chemicals and energy company donated the Etienne Rousseau Theatre to the community of Sasolburg to commemorate Sasol's 25th year in existence. The project was launched by Sasol at a cost of R1.1 million as a gift to the people of Sasolburg and named after the founding Managing Director of Sasol, Etienne Rousseau. (In 1985, 10 years after the theatre's opening in Sasolburg, Sasol donated money to build another venue, the Johannes Stegmann Theatre, in the town of Secunda ).

Designed as a multi-purpose, with an auditorium that can seat 456 patrons, and has a stage area of 14,5m by 12m to accommodate fairly large productions such as ballet and opera, two wings that can provide ample space for performers and stage sets, an orchestra pit that can house 40 musicians and has storage space for a grand piano. Inb addition the large foyer not only provides ample space for interaction with fellow patrons, but it can also house small functions, art exhibitions and even puppet shows.

After a while of decay, extensive renovations of the theatre were begun in 2020, with support of Sasol.

The venue was long run by the Performing Arts Council of the Orange Free State (PACOFS), who used it as a touring venue, and many distinguished and varied national and international productions of drama, opera, ballet and various styles of music have been presented there over the years.

Among the directors of the theatre have been Jannie Lindeque, Herman van Niekerk


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