Project Manager with Urban-Think Tank and Theatre4Change.
Residents of Khayelitsha are currently rehearsing and performing in a small, self-built ‘shack theater’—the Makukhanye Art Room. Though modest, the venue is an increasingly important gathering space for dramatic productions, dance recitals, educational workshops, mentorship programs and community meetings. Despite its obvious deficiencies, it provides for an ever-growing audience and network of actors, musicians, dancers, writers, directors, and artists based in Khayelitsha, who find it difficult to access the cultural infrastructure that otherwise exists in Cape Town’s city center.
Initiated via a series of workshops run at the Makukhanye Art Room with Theatre4Change, and rehearsed in the same space, the production of ‘Holy Contract’ provided a behind-the-scenes perspective on the physical requirements for a new theater, in particular the need for a larger, safer, and more controllable space. A better-equipped and flexible facility has the potential to greatly expand the impact of the programs already underway, as well as improve access to the arts for all the residents of Khayelitsha.
The lightweight, low-cost design seeks to remain sensitive to the surrounding area, while at the same time offering a visible symbol of hope and ambition for the community. With the associated fundraising campaign launched at the Schauspielhaus Zürich at the end of March, an event which I organized, the project is on-going.(above) Visualisation of the new Makukhanye Theatre