Ons Teatertjie

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Ons Teatertjie("Our theatrelet" or "Our small theatre"), the proposed name for a theatre venue in Pretoria.

The proposal

The idea was a venue to be devoted to the production of work in Afrikaans, to indulge in experimental work not possible for commercial and professional groups and to be the "home" of Ons Teatertjie Toneelgroep (literally: "Our little theatre theatre group"), founded in 1935 and then renamed Volksteater ("the nation's theatre") in 1936.

Plans for such a venue were actually drawn up and were apparently based on those of the Little Theatre in Cape Town, suggesting a venue with 192 seats, spacious stage (64x40 feet), 2 dressingrooms, a storage room and the entrance being divided into a coffee room and archive. This theatre was however never built.

Later history

Volksteater did not settle for this and persevered, till Die Kleinteater ("The Little Theatre") was eventually built in Skinner Street in 19**, though by then Volksteater was no longer the major force it had been and it was thus built primarily for general amateur and educational use.

The venue was eventually taken over by the Transvaal Education Department and managed by the Pretoriase Normaalkollege. Students from the college thus also had access to the venue, and among many uses, it hosted the finals of the annual Administrator’s Cup Competition for many years. Also used as one of the venues for the annual playwriting incentive, the ATKV Kampustoneel Festival, in the 1980s.

[TH, JH]


Ludwig Binge, 1969

P.J. du Toit, 1988

For more information

See Ons Teatertjie Toneelgroep, Volksteater and the Kleinteater, Pretoria

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