New Africa Theatre Association

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The New Africa Theatre Association (Acronym: NATA) is a Cape Town based NGO, focused on theatre training and production.

Popularly referred to simply as New Africa.


The Association was founded by Mavis Taylor in 1987 with the aim of offering opportunities for disadvantaged, but talented and resourceful young people to receive performance skills training at the same standard as that offered at expensive established and formal institutions. Besides this training focus, New Africa was also intended as a production company (becoming a leader in the development of an indigenous and inclusive SA theatre in the process), and a service organization, running an outreach programme in a number of Western Cape communities annually.

Taylor and her colleagues forged co-operative links with a number of existing institutions in the Western Cape, notably the Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and the Western Cape. Besides vocational training, New Africa also developed and presented Theatre-in-education programmes, taken on tour in the Western Cape schools. One of their plays was also presented in a formal Cape Town theatre each year. Among their more notable productions were ***, *** and ***.

Staff and part-time staff over the years included such well-known Western Cape theatre personalities and teachers as Esther van Ryswyk, Chris Weare, **, ** and Johan Esterhuizen. The Association was also served by a board of Directors.

After the death of Mavis Taylor, the leadership devolved onto **and ** and it became a section 21 Company and registered with the Department of Education to offer to provide talented school leavers from disadvantaged backgrounds with accredited performance arts training programme.


Cape Argus, 26 November 2008.

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