The Theatre Arts Observatory in Cape Town is a hub for creativity, innovation, and exploration in the world of performing arts. Located in the heart of the city, this unique space serves as a platform for artists, scholars, and enthusiasts to come together and engage in meaningful conversations about theatre.
The observatory offers a range of programs, including workshops, performances, and discussions, that aim to foster artistic growth and collaboration. With its vibrant atmosphere and commitment to artistic excellence, the Theatre Arts Observatory is a must-visit destination for anyone passionate about the transformative power of theatre.
Artistic Programmes of Theatre Arts Observatory include:
OY! Theatre (Obs Youth Theatre), is a performance-based neighbourhood theatre company for young people between the ages of 12 (Grade 7) and 18 years. The company meets weekly on a Monday and Friday evenings. Run by a dynamic group of professional theatre makers, OY!Theatre is a place of deep experiential learning that gives young people an opportunity to engage with all aspects of performance that include team work, group and individual responsibility, character development, design for stage, publicity and real time fundraising campaigns. This is what making theatre, in all its facets, is about.
The Theatre Arts Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary, which was initiated in 2010 by Caroline Calburn of the Theatre Arts Admin Collective initially with the support of Lara Foot of the Baxter Theatre and GIPCA (now known as the ICA - Institute for the Creative Arts). Since then the Bursary has been supported by Distell, BASA and most recently the late Gordon Hirschowitz.
The project promotes collaboration across disciplines of music and dance, and includes a facilitating team with extensive experience in interdisciplinary an inter-genre collaboration. Dancers and musicians will work together to extend their practice of real-time composition and performance making.
Music Dance is curated and facilitated by Thalia Laric & Manuela Lucia Tessi. Manuela Tessi is a dancer, maker and teacher, based in the Netherlands. who graduated from the Modern Theatre Dance department at the Theaterschool in Amsterdam. Her co-creator, Thalia Laric is a dance artist from Cape Town that specialises in, real-time composition, contact improvisation, release technique and somatic body work.
She studied dance at The University of Cape Town and completed her Masters in choreography at Rhodes University in 2013.
The Reading Room, which is a new project of Theatre Arts for established and emerging writers, directors, actors and theatre-makers as well as students of theatre. It is a programme designed to offer a vibrant space where artists of varying experience can huddle together over a cup of tea, both over zoom and in the theatre for robust discussion, engagement and the exploration of play texts, old and new, much like an old-fashioned Book Club.
The Reading Room aims to inspire Writers to write and Directors to direct. And to develop a dynamic and contemporary collection of plays for the use of the Cape Town theatre community.