The Market Theatre Laboratory invites a new generation of performing arts pioneers to apply for our renowned Theatre and Performance Programme. Applications for study in 2022 are open from 1 August – 30 September 2021.

This full-time course, which runs from January to November each year, offers intensive training in a laboratory environment for emerging actors, theatre-makers, directors and writers to develop to a professional standard. Facilitated by professional theatre practitioners, the programme focuses on practical experience, and learning through experimentation, exchange, research and making. Each year, twenty students are selected, a small group that allows for each students’ creative journey to be mentored.

The Lab invests in ensuring that the curriculum continues to serves the interests and needs of young creatives in a rapidly evolving industry. Most importantly, we teach young artists to adapt, to experiment, and to think of themselves as entrepreneurs. In these challenging times, we aim to think expansively about the relevance of theatre and live performance, and to find language that articulates what theatre-makers know how to do and where the current need for these skills is situated. The ways in which theatre-making skills help make sense of being human, teach us how to be with people, how to hold space, how to participate in community, how to approach change, and how to solve problems creatively, are needed now more than ever.

The high quality of artistic engagement between students, collaborators, audiences and theatre practitioners happening in the space is evident in the impressive array of awards that the productions created through or with the Market Theatre Laboratory have won – in 2020, the first year students’ production, Eclipsed: Phifalo Ya Ngwedi, created with the guidance of Sylvaine Strike, Gina Shmukler and Phumlani Mndebele, won a Naledi Award in the Best Tertiary/Incubation category, while No Easter Sunday for Queers, in which the first years performed as the chorus, won the Naledi Award for Best Production for Independent/Fringe Theatre. The Art of Facing Fear (an international collaborative production presented on Zoom featuring actors from nine countries, in which Kwasha performed) won Best Production and Best Ensemble at the Red Curtain Good Theatre Awards 2020.

We are also proud of the long list of alumni over several generations who continue to excel in various capacities and are well-represented on local and international screens, from established stalwarts such as Warren Masemola (Beyonce’s Black is King), to relative newcomers such as Sicelo Buthelezi, who won the Outstanding Newcomer Award at the 2020 Royalty Soapie Awards.

When the Market Theatre Laboratory opened its doors in 1989, the intention of its founders, Dr John Kani and Barney Simon, was to provide opportunities to talented youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who would not otherwise be able to pursue their passion for the arts or study further. This remains an integral part of the Lab’s purpose, along with a determination to assist young artists to build sustainable careers, and to create space and visibility for subaltern experiences, voices and identities.
Please note that if lockdown regulations due to the Covid19 pandemic are still in place, parts of the course may be held online.

Applicants are encouraged to go on to the Market Theatre Laboratory website to download application forms or apply online:

Alternatively application forms can be fetched from the Market Theatre Laboratory offices: The Market Square

For Queries contact: Rudy Motseatsea: / 011 838 7498/
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