Windhoek Civic Theatre

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The Windhoek Civic Theatre was the first civic theatre and arts venue built for the city of Windhoek in Namibia.

Also referred to as the Windhoek Theatre or Windhoek Teater (in Afrikaans).

The venue

In the 1950s the South West African branch of the South African Association of Arts ( SAAA, South West African Branch), under the chairmanship of the then President, Olga Levinson, actively petitioned for and obtained a civic theatre for Windhoek.

The venue, initially called the The Arts Theatre, contained a theatre and an art gallery, and was formally opened on 3 October 1960 by the then Administrator of South West Africa (SWA), Mr D. du P. Viljoen.

The theatre and gallery were formally managed by the SAAA until 1973 and during this time it used by growing numbers of amateurs, schools, semi-professionals, professionals. However, by the beginning of the 1970s it was was clearly too small and the SWA Administration had it enlarged and improved.

Renovated in March 1973, it was renamed the Windhoek Civic Theatre and reopened on the 12th April 1973 by the Administrator Mr B.J. van der Walt, and handed over to the South West African Performing Arts Council (SWAPAC) to manage from then onwards. SWAPAC also obtained administrative offices in a building next door.

After independence it became known as the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN, an Association Not For Gain) being incorporated on 25 August 1989. The new entity now took on both the administrative role played by the then defunct SWAPAC and that of a public theatre, the objectives set were to present, produce and manage the performing arts in Namibia. Following independence on 21 March 1991, the Namibian government took over the support the objectives of the NTN.


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