Theatre Arts Admin Collective

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The Theatre Arts Admin Collective is a theatre development organization and venue in Observatory, Cape Town.

Sometimes referred to as The Collective or more recently known simply as Theatre Arts.

The Venue

Housed in the Methodist Church Hall, cnr Milton Road and Wesley Street Observatory, Cape Town, it is offered as a home for local theatre practitioners, where they can create work, develop skills, perform, engage in dialogue and meet and work with theatre practitioners who come from diverse backgrounds, whether cultural, social, economic or simply in skill and experience. It is directed by Caroline Calburn, with Pule Setlhako as Part-time Venue Manager.

Situated in the old Methodist Church Hall, Observatory, it was founded as a home for local theatre practitioners and their work, built on the tenets of affordability, inclusivity, and accessibility. It has fours performance/rehearsal spaces for hire[1]: The Main Theatre, The Minor Hall, The Back Room and The Church.

The venue received the Fleur du Cap Award for Innovation in 2019

Programmes and Projects

The Collective runs a number of community and arts programmes, including:

Inspiring a Generation

This is a joint venture with ASSITEJ SA to inspire theatre practitioners to make innovative, cutting edge theatre for children in South Africa.

The School Subsidy Programme

The Family Season

This includes an annual programme of 3-day festivals for families, school tours, school theatre festivals and school family performance evenings.

Among the festivals organised by the Collective have been the Vrygrond Family Festival and the The Obs Family Festival.

Learning Placements in Arts Administration, Publicity and Fundraising

OY! Theatre

OY! Theatre ("Obs Youth Theatre") is a initiative of Theatre Arts and is a performance-based neighbourhood theatre company for young people between the ages of 12 and 18 years. The company meets weekly on a Monday and Friday evenings and is run by a group of professional theatre makers.

Active since 2018, the plays staged by OY! Theatre over the following 5 years have included:

DNA, written by Dennis Kelly and directed by Jaqueline Dommisse

OY's Line is it Anyway, an improvisation performance facilitated by Megan Choritz

Through Our Eyes, created with the company and directed by Thando Doni

Holloway Jones, written by Evan Placey and directed by Thembela Madliki

Tusk, created with the company and directed by Rosa-Karoo Loewe

Love and Information, written by Caryl Churchill and directed by Jaqueline Dommisse and Caroline Calburn.

The Children's Monologues, created by Dramatic Need and directed by Lesego Chauke.

In 2019, Through Our Eyes was performed at the National Arts Festival, Makhanda, giving the company an incredible experience of touring a production and participating in a national festival.

In 2022, The Children's Monologues won a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival, Makhanda.

The Theatre Arts Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary

The Theatre Arts Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary that aims to support young and talented directors who are entering into the theatre industry, but lack opportunities to practice their craft. Initially started in 2010 by Caroline Calburn of the Theatre Arts Admin Collective with the support of Lara Foot of the Baxter Theatre, the Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, Distell and other sponsors, the bursary is intended to serve as an opportunity for young directors to develop their skills, be mentored in the creation of a new piece of work, have their work seen and so help them to establish themselves as directors.

Subsidiary services

The venue also offers a number of subsidiary and supporting services. See their Website for more information[2]).


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