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Announcement of promotion at The Market Laboratory

01 June 2017

The Market Theatre Foundation is proud to announce the promotion of Clara Louis Vaughan from Education Officer at the Market Laboratory to Head: Market Laboratory as with effect from 1 June 2017.

“Clara has worked for the Market Theatre Foundation since 2013 and has been an invaluable member of the Market Theatre Foundation. During her tenure as the Education Officer at the Market Laboratory she has contributed immensely to the notable achievements for which the Market Laboratory continues to maintain its formidable reputation in the South African creative industries and in the theatre development sector,” said Ismail Mahomed, CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation.

Clara Louise VaughanIn 2016, Clara obtained an MA with distinction from Rhodes University in the fields of applied drama and theatre, devised theatre, gender and sexuality studies. Under her leadership and guidance, the Market Laboratory has also distinguished itself with several accolades and partnerships. In 2013, the Market Laboratory won three awards at the National Arts Festival for its production, Milk and Honey, written by Khayelihle Dom Gumede and directed by the Market Theatre’s artistic director, James Ngcobo.

During the same year, the Market Laboratory won the Kopanang Award at the Krekvars-Kopanang Festival, for theatre engaging with human rights issues, for Lampedusa Beach directed by Italian theatre-maker Raissa Brighi.  In 2015 at the National Arts Festival, the Market Laboratory won the Adelaide Tambo Award for celebrating human rights through the arts for Noord! directed by Clara Vaughan. The Award was presented to the Market Laboratory by the Ambassador of the Netherlands, Marisa Gerards at a reception hosted at the Ambassador’s residence.

As a passionate supporter of international collaborations, Clara has created numerous opportunities for students at the Market Laboratory. In 2013, she co-facilitated with Neil Coppen of Think Theatre the Self-Start Artist Programme facilitated by Elizabeth Bradley of the Tisch School of the Arts NYU, which brought together artists from around South Africa and Zimbabwe to explore artistic entrepreneurship and collaborative opportunities.  In 2014, she facilitated a collaboration between the Market Laboratory and two Dutch theatre makers who specialise in theatre for young people, resulting in a production of The Gruffalo.

In 2016, she was selected to participate in a professional artist exchange, sponsored by the British Council, in which she spent 3 weeks in the UK researching theatre education methodologies and practices, and hosted a UK theatre director at the Market Laboratory. The Market Laboratory’s partnership with UK theatre company OddManOut was awarded a grant by British Council Connect ZA to create a new production about the experiences of young women around the world, which will tour to both South Africa and the UK during the course of this year.

Clara has been selected as a participant in the 2nd edition of the Global Cultural Leadership Programme, to take place in Athens, Greece in June, hosted by the Cultural Diplomacy Platform.

“Clara is passionate about broadening access and creating opportunities for her students. She is a visionary, innovator and a facilitator. She has the right set of skills that will open newer opportunities for student at the Market Laboratory and position the Market Laboratory as South Africa’s most dynamic hub for artistic experimentation”, added Mahomed.

In 2013, Clara initiated a collaboration between the Market Laboratory and the Hillbrow Theatre, in which Market Laboratory students and alumni facilitate drama classes in inner city Johannesburg. The classes continue to run to this present day. In 2015, she began a collaboration with Pop Art Theatre on a course called The Business of Theatre, which teaches Market Laboratory students artistic entrepreneurship skills and gives them work experience in a professional context. In 2016, she re-ignited part-time courses at the Market Laboratory which has grown to over 80 registered students. She facilitated an agreement with National Theatre Live (NTL), which allows offer free screenings of all NTL productions at the Market Laboratory to any person carrying a valid student card.

Clara has also co-written a book chapter with Katharine Low which will be published in Applied Theatre: Women and Criminal Justice, by Bloomsbury in 2018.

“In my first year of tenure at the Market Theatre Foundation, announcing Clara Vaughan’s promotion to Head: Market Laboratory is one of my most exciting moments. With her leadership of the Market Laboratory I am confident that the Market Theatre Foundation will continue to soar to great success as it envisions the role that it can continue to pay in an ever-changing arts economy and cultural landscape”, concluded Mahomed.

For further information, interviews and images, contact:

Lusanda Zokufa, Senior Publicist, Market Theatre
011 832 1641 ext 202 or 072 367 7867
lusandaz@markettheatre.co.za