Theaters of South Africa

South Africa is so rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. It is also blessed with people who have an innate talent for music and drama. This is one of the reasons why musical theaters and youth theaters are also present in almost every major city in the country.

The country has all kinds of theater shows ranging from the cultural and indigenous shows to Broadway and cabaret. South Africans enjoy opera, ballet, and other theater arts and try to instill a love for all types in their children.  The young South Africans are introduced to music and dance at a very early age since it is quite common to see music being played in markets, town celebrations, and homes. The country also has music and art festivals where young actors, dancers and singers are able to showcase their talent and hopefully get discovered as the next bright star in the local theater world.

The time during South Africa’s dark past was when a single ray of hope shown bright for the South African youth. Deprived of influences from outside their country, the youth had to rely on their skills as musicians, actors, and dancers to entertain themselves. They tapped into their cultural background and developed a strong love for country and its arts.

It was only around the late 1900s that theater really began to develop. This was when the fight against Apartheid began to escalate and many people found their voices in the performing arts. In 1972, the Music Drama Arts and Literature Institute (MDALI) was formed and its charter was to “promote self determination, self-realization, and self-support in theatre arts.” Unfortunately, after several anti-Apartheid plays in 1975, the founder of MDALI, Molete Pheto was arrested and the MDALI eventually closed down.

Other theater groups that were formed during these times were the Imitha Players in East London, the Shah Theatre Academy located in Durban, and the Inkhwezi Players in Grahamstown.  The problem of the indigenous theater groups was not the talent or even the material; it was the lack of venues. Investors were not interested in supporting them because they did not see a return on their investment. However, there were some venues that began to emerge in the 1970s and things began to slowly change for some theater groups.  The University of Witwatersrand offered their campus as a venue, the Space Theatre opened in Cape Town, the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, the Stable Theatre in Durban, and the Baxter Theatre in the campus of the University of Cape Town.

After the Apartheid, the country began to see changes rapidly evolving and this affected the theater. One of the main issues was that with international influences entering the market and the growing crime in major cities like Johannesburg, people began to turn to TV, casinos, radio, malls, and even museums for entertainment.

New theater groups began to arise a vw Polo for sale in Gauteng: the Johannesburg Youth Theatre is one such group where new and exciting artists have begun to be popular. Playwrights were inspired by global influences and the previous theme of being anti-Apartheid was taken over by more current issues like love, violence, drugs, family, religion, and homosexuality.