Market Theatre Foundation

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The Market Theatre Foundation was established in 1976 as a non-profit company and was declared a Cultural Institution in 2005. The Market Theatre Foundation includes the Market Theatre, the Market Photo Workshop, the Market Theatre Laboratory and the Windybrow Arts Centre. It is overseen by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC).


Formed in July 1975 under the chairmanship of Murray McClean as a incorporated association to take the lease, do the development, create a venue for cultural activity, but not to participate in any of the productions of The Market Theatre. All donations made to the Market Theatre went to The Market Theatre Foundation and were used for building projects, electricity and telephone bills, upkeep, equipment and salaries of the staff who run the complex. The first seven Trustees of the Market Theatre Foundation were Mannie Manim, Barney Simon, Murray McLean, Ben Trisk, P.P.B. Breytenbach, Raymond Tucker, Cyril Fisher

Vision and Mission

From The Market Theatre Foundation website:

"The Vision of the Market Theatre Foundation is to create an authentic South African cultural experience which is committed to providing the highest level of artistic excellence in all aspects of the performing and visual arts in which the education and development of a diverse community of artists, audiences and technicians is assured."

"In order to realize our vision, our mission is to ensure the long-term future of the MTF by:

  • Producing and providing a platform for a professional performing and visual arts repertoire that is authentic and artistically (sic).
  • Developing the next generation of South African performing and visual arts talent.
  • Engaging, educating and developing a diverse community through the performing and visual arts to become enthusiastic audience members and supporters."


Chief Executive Officers of The Market Theatre Foundation have included:

Annabell Lebethe


The Market Theatre

This is a theatre complex in Newtown, Johannesburg.

For further information, see The Market Theatre

The Market Theatre Laboratory

This is the educational arm of The Market Theatre.

For further information, see The Market Theatre Laboratory

The Windybrow Arts Centre

This is an arts complex in Doornfontein, Johannesburg.

For more information, see Windybrow Arts Centre.

Market Square

In 2017, The Market Theatre Foundation added the Market Square building in Newtown (on the edge of Mary Fitzgerald Square) to its portfolio of venues, bringing added arts and culture vibrancy to this district. The Market Square houses:

  • rehearsal venues
  • library
  • board-rooms
  • dance studios
  • a gallery space showcasing work by photographers from the celebrated Market Photo Workshop (originally founded in 1989 by world-renowned South African photographer David Goldblatt)


Pat Schwartz, 1988; Percy Tucker, 1997; Loren Kruger, 1999)

'A monument to theatrical excellence'. The Star Late Edition, 27 Feb 2017

For more information

See also Market Theatre

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