Theatre for Africa
Theatre for Africa (1989-) is a theatrical company.
Founded by Nicholas Ellenbogen in 1989, and based on his earlier improvisational work with the Loft Theatre Company, the company utilizes mime, mimetic sounds, minimalist costuming and stage settings to tell stories and address a range of issues. The performers are expected to be multi-skilled and are trained in improvisational techniques to develop texts. Well known company members over the years have been Ellis Pearson, Brendan Grealy, Bheki Mkhwane, Liz Szymczak, *.
It has become particularly well known for its award-winning work on ecological issues on the one hand, and for the commercially successful series of Raiders plays. These works have been taken on various intentional tours, including many countries in Africa
In 1991-2 the company initiated and managed Envirovision, a primary schools' environmental play workshop.
The plays and productions
Theatre for Africa and Nicholas Ellenbogen have received numerous forms of recognition over the years, including Command Performances for royalty and international leaders. (See entries on individual plays as well as the entry on Nicholas Ellenbogen.)
Among the most prominent awards have been:
1991: A Nativity nominated for the Dawie Malan Award for best South African Play; Horn of Sorrow and Kloof Eagle awarded the Edinburgh Scotsman Fringe First Award; Ellenbogen receives an award from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for his exceptional contribution to environmental conservation.
1995: Theatre for Africa receives the WWF's Merit Award for Innovative Environmental Education
2014: Ellenbogen honoured with the Fleur de Cap Lifetime Achievement Award.
Nicholas Ellenbogen and Liz Szymczak (eds). 2003. Nicholas Ellenbogen's Horn of Sorrow and Elephant of Africa. Cape Town: Theatre for Africa.
Nicholas Ellenbogen and Liz Szymczak (eds). 2003. Nicholas Ellenbogen: Horing van Hartseer en Olifant van Afrika. Cape Town: Theatre for Africa.
Theatre for Africa. (n.d.) The Complete Works of Nicholas Ellenbogen and Theatre for Africa Claremont, Cape Town.
Percy Tucker. 1997. Just the Ticket. My 50 Years in Show Business. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page