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The incubation programme is sponsored by the Department of Sports Arts and Culture Incubation Programme. Through this programme the department aims to help emerging practitioners to hone their skills through mentorship and propel them to professional status. The process also puts a strong emphasis on home-grown content to hopefully generate exciting new productions for the theatre-going public.


  • All members of the group must have South African ID
  • Groups are to reside within boundaries of City of Johannesburg
  • Group members need to be between 18 and 35 years old
  • Only full-time theatre practitioners can apply, no students/learners allowed to participate
  • Groups must secure their own rehearsal venue for site visits and fieldwork. No rehearsal venue will be provided by Market Theatre
  • All groups must adhere to the confirmed site visit schedule, no deviations will be allowed. Failure to adhere will result in disqualification.
  • Failure to comply will all the requirements, will result in immediate disqualification
  • Rights of admission reserved


Should you meet the above eligibility criteria, the following needs to be submitted for your application to be evaluated:

  • A duly completed showcase application form
  • Script
  • Production picture (minimum of two/ maximum of five pictures)
  • 100 word bios of the writer and the director
  • The total number of group members not to exceed ten
  • Technical Rider


When applying, groups must ensure that they are available for showcasing  as well as fieldwork. Site visits and fieldwork will be as per the festival schedule that will be shared with accurate dates per production.

Roll-out of the festival for 2023/2024 is as follows:

  • Selection 1: September 2023
  • Fieldwork 1 & Selection 2: September& October 2023
  • Fieldwork 2: November 2023
  • Ko Lapeng Showcase: December 2023
  • Fieldwork 3: January 2024
  • Zwakala Festival: February 2024
  • Zwakala Winner:
  • Rehearsals: 2 weeks pick-up rehearsals (Dates TBC)
  • Season: 2 weeks run (Dates TBC)

Applications can be submitted online by 08 September 2023  at 23:00

Correspondence will only be limited to successful groups

For enquiries, please contact the Festival Coordinator at 

Market Theatre Foundation will not be liable to cover costs for rehearsal process during fieldwork phases. 

Right of Admission reserved


Applications are closed