Performing Arts Council of the Orange Free State

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One of the four provincial Performing Arts Councils, founded in 1963 to replace the National Theatre Organisation with its offices in Bloemfontein. After 1994 it became the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS)



Founded in 1963, as part of the new dispensation that followed the dissolution of the National Theatre Organisation. Rex Hugo was appointed first director.

1994 -

In 1996 PACOFS became a section 21 (non-profit) company with reduced state subsidy and a management board appointed by the minister of Arts Culture, Science and Technology. It later became an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, and was renamed the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State, thus retaining the acronym PACOFS .

In April 1997 the new PACOFS closed their drama department and over a period reduced their total staff from 300 to 91 started functioning primarily as a playhouse for productions in the Sand du Plessis Theatre, the André Huguenet Theatre and the Civic Theatre in Bloemfontein and the Ernest Oppenheimer Theatre in Welkom. In December 1999 Pacofs severed ties with the city council of Welkom, who were the managers of the Oppenheimer Theatre, as result of bad debts of about R1,2 million. The theatre’s staff was retrenched and the doors closed.

When PACOFS closed their drama department, in contrast to the professional theatre artists in the other provinces, those in the Free State took the initiative and under leadership of Gerben Kamper, artistic director of PACOFS, formed the Free State Ensemble, based at the Sterrewag Theatre (Observatory Theatre) in Bloemfontein.

Jerry Pooe was acting artistic director for a while, with Teboho Macholo as acting CEO. In 2014 Teboho Macholo became the CEO and Jerry Mofokeng the new Artistic Director.



Registered as a society not for gain, it was headed by a policy-making council chaired by the provincial administrator and representative of all interested parties, including the province, the city municipality, the department of national education, the business sector as well as representatives of the various performing art forms. Their function was to provide provide artists and artisans with a secure career option, to develop and promote drama, ballet, music and opera by offering audiences in the province with regular professional productions.


Own productions


Imported productions

Together with the other three performing arts councils they staged The Great Waltz for their Christmas production in 1987 and Singin’ in the Rain for their Christmas production in 1988. Together with NAPAC and PACT they presented Lerner and Louwe’s Camelot at the State Theatre in 1989. Together with PACT and NAPAC they staged My Fair Lady for their Christmas production in 1990. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was a combined performing arts council’s production which ran from 1990 to 1991. Together with CAPAB and NAPAC they presented Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! in 1993. **** PACOFS/NAPAC Loft Comp. Herman Charles Bosman: The storyteller. Adapted for stage: Val Rosenberg; Dir: Michael Swinton; with Roger Dwyer & Stephen Gurneuy, Philippa Gutridge & Bruce Young. Sand du Plessis Theatre, 1985


City Hall

Civic Theatre

Old Presidency

Observatory Theatre

SASOL Theatre, Sasolburg

Theatre Kroonstad

Oppenheimer Theatre, Welkom

Sand du Plessis Theatre

Andre Huguenet Theatre


Percy Tucker, 1997

Van Heerden,

PACOFS steps into the future with first-ever Indaba - 5 April 2014 in News[1]

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