A Seat for Human Rights Culture

The Market Theatre Foundation will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the historic signing of the South African Constitution that took place on 10 December 1996 by awarding the “Seat of the Market Theatre” to The Olive Tree Theatre and the Luthando Arts Academy to support their efforts to advance a culture of human rights through the arts. International Human Rights Days is also observed across the globe on 10th December.

The theatre seats saved from the recent refurbishment of the Market Theatre Foundation’s venues has offered decades of inspiration and enjoyment to audiences. The rows of theatre seats will now be housed at the Luthando Arts Academy and the Olive Tree Theatre to make their own audiences more comfortable.

The Olive Tree Theatre is the brainchild of Ntshieng Mokgoro, an award-winning director and playwright. The theatre is a melting pot for South African arts and culture, with both Sandton and Alex at its doorstep. The Olive Tree Theatre runs a dynamic Women’s Festival each year.

Mokgoro produced her first play, Anger,in 1993 at the Market Theatre Laboratory when it was selected for the Zwakala Festival. Her successful debut led to her being selected for a resident project under the mentorship of Lara Foot at the Market Theatre Laboratory in 1999. During the residency she created Umdlwebe which received a professional season at the Market Theatre.  In 2000, she received the Graham Lindop Award for most promising young director.  From a debut at the Market Theatre Foundation’s renowned training unit Ntshieng Mokgoro commenced her steady climb to become a formidable voice in South African theatre earning her the recognition as the 2009 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Theatre.

The Luthando Arts Academy was founded by award-winning choreographer Luyanda Sidiya following his successful career at the Vuyani Dance Company. The Academy offers fresh challenges and opportunities for young and curious people to engage the arts as a vehicle for social advocacy.

The 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist, Luyanda Sidiya, is equally at home at the Market Theatre as he is at his Luthando Arts Academy in Sebokeng. His stirring production SIVA which he created with the Vuyani Dance Theatre was presented at the Market Theatre last year. The production received rousing standing ovations and following its successful season at the Market Theatre the production toured to Beijing. He has also choreographed Ketekang  (2014) and in Page 27 (2015) for the Market Theatre. During 2017, he is scheduled to choreograph an international co-production directed by the Market Theatre’s Artistic Director, James Ncgobo. The production will have its world premiere at the Market Theatre before its tour to the UK.

“At the Market Theatre Foundation we love watching audiences taking up their seats. By equipping The Olive Tree Theatre and the Luthando Arts Academy with the seats removed from our refurbished venues we will be supporting two visionary and professional artists whose community-based initiatives are making a strong contribution to audience development and who share in the Market Theatre Foundation’s historical legacy that the arts and a culture of human rights can be interwoven”, said Ismail Mahomed, the Market Theatre Foundation’s CEO.

Corporate Social Investment (CSI) funders and social development foundations that want to support how the arts can make a difference and advance a culture of human rights are invited to partner with the Market Theatre Foundation.

For further information, interviews and images, contact:

Lusanda Zokufa, Senior Publicist
Market Theatre
011 832 1641 ext 123 or 072 367 7867
lusandaz@markettheatre.co.za