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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THEATRE INDUSTRY PROBLEMS (article first published : 2000-03-27)

Members of Durban’s theatre industry gathered together recently to discuss pro-active solutions to problems facing the industry. Issues discussed included the drawing in of new audiences, suitable performance venues, sponsorship and the all-important question – “how to make the industry viable?”

The move was initiated by local musician and actress Judith Hawthorn and the meeting reached general agreement that the various groups needed to work together to benefit from group synergy. It was also agreed that there was a need to provide audiences with a theatre “experience” and not just a show.

In addressing the need for more venues, it was decided to approach the University of Natal Durban to use the Open Air theatre as a venue for a “mini festival” to be held from May 26 to 28. Various productions would be staged and sponsorship would be sought to cover advertising. Hopefully, these festivals would then occur on a regularl basis.

“With the lack of vision and funding from Government for the arts, it is vital for theatre entrepreneurs to provide this for themselves,” says Judith Hawthorn. “Anyone wishing to join this as yet un-named gathering of desperate and starving – albeit passionate and motivated – group of individuals is welcome!”

Contact Judith Hawthorn on 762-1614.




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