National Youth Theatre

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National Youth Theatre was an educational theatre company founded by NTO.

Also known in English as NTO Youth Theatre and in Afrikaans as Nasionale Jeugtoneel or NTO Jeuggroep.

Initiated under the auspices of National Theatre Organisation (NTO) in 1959 by Cobus Rossouw, Jannie Gildenhuys, Leonora Nel and Irene Durr, who had returned from Europe with new ideas about theatre-making and theatre for young people. They dramatized literary set-works for young, critical audiences. Utilizing the minimalist approach to performance then the rage in Europe, they pioneered Poor Theatre and later concepts of theatre-in-education in South Africa.

The group presented a travelling programme entitled Pret & Plesier uit die Boekrak (lit. "Fun and pleasure from the bookshelf") for schools, offering a total of 248 presentations in order to promote the study of literature - an activity that saw a growth on dramatised readings at schools. Among the pieces done were books like Dieselfde Pad (by Kootjie van der Heever).

They also performed a number of formal dramas, in association with various universities and the Alexander Theatre, among them No Exit (Sartre), Mag Ek Saamspeel? (Marcel Achard), The Bear (Chekhov), Miss Julie (Strindberg), Johanna, die Soldaat van God (Saint Joan by Shaw, with the University of Stellenbosch, 1960) and The Trial (Kafka, with the University of Cape Town).


P.J. du Toit, 1988;

Temple Hauptfleisch, 1985.[1]

Rinie Stead, 1981[?*];

Rinie Stead, 1985b;

Percy Tucker, 1997. [JH, TH]

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