The Theatre and Dance Alliance (TADA), a coalition of organisations, institutions, festivals and companies that operate, and individuals who make a significant part of their livelihoods within the South African theatre and dance sector, has been launched officially.

According to its Constitution, the purpose of the Theatre and Dance Alliance is to advance and defend the interests of the theatre and dance sector as a whole and of the individuals active within it.

More than 300 members drawn from across all nine provinces currently constitute TADA and includes membership-based organisations such as the South African Guild of Actors and ASSITEJ South Africa; leading theatre and dance companies in Vuyani Dance Theatre, the Garage Dance Ensemble, Kickstart Theatre Company, Mother Tongue Project, Abrahamse and Meyer Productions; festivals such as the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees and the Toyota US Woordfees as well as community-based arts centres like Luthando Arts Academy in Gauteng and the Izodela Arts Centre in Mpumalanga, and established theatres like Johannesburg’s Theatre on the Square.

Individual members include 2020 Standard Bank Young Artist for Drama, Jefferson Tshabalala, actors Frank Opperman, Warona Seane, Mpho Molepo, Kate Normington and Lizz Meiring, Director of the Centre for Creative Arts, Ismail Mahomed, and performer and composer, Charl-Johan Lingenfelder.

The Theatre and Dance Alliance has established a number of working groups to engage its members in activities that will affirm the sector taking more responsibility for itself. These working groups include Advocacy and Campaigns, Capacity-Building, Rights and Remuneration; theatre and dance Policies; Research and Information, and Health and Welfare.

The inaugural National Steering Committee (NSC) of TADA has a twelve-month mandate to build the organisation and to consolidate and serve its membership across all nine provinces. The NSC includes a sound mix of generations, disciplines, gender and cultural backgrounds and comprises Chairperson Lindiwe Letwaba, CEO of Vuyani Dance Theatre; Deputy Chairperson Cornelia Faasen, CEO of the National Afrikaans Theatre initiative; choreographer and educator, Gladys Agulhas; Malika Ndlovu, poet and applied arts practitioner; Daniel Galloway, former Director of the Fugard Theatre and producer; Calvin Ratladi, theatre director, performer and disability arts activist; Lungile Themba, Director of Nalithemba Productions; Saartjie Botha, CEO of Toyota US Woordfees; Tiisetso Mashifane, playwright, actor and independent theatre-maker; Mike van Graan, playwright and Coordinator of the STAND Foundation; Ntshadi Mofokeng, cultural worker; Nwabisa Plaatjie, Manager of Baxter’s Masambe Theatre; Alistair Kilbee, Managing Director of Splitbeam, a theatre supply company; Georgia Lahusen, independent project manager; ASSITEJ South Africa representatives Faye Kabali-Kagwa and Yusrah Bardien; SAGA representatives Ashley Dowds and Londiwe Shange; provincial representatives Angelo Mockie (Free State); Luyanda Sidiya (Gauteng); Iain Robinson (KwaZulu Natal) and Dara Beth (Western Cape) and non-voting representatives from nascent member-based organisations Lesego van Niekerk (SA Dance Alliance), Lizani Smith and Mbasa Tsetsana (House of Crew); Hugo Theart (Festival Forum) and Tarryn Edwards (PMA).

TADA’s activities are coordinated by its Secretariat comprising its Secretary General, former dancer and current producer, Jaco van Rensburg of VR Theatrical who will be based in Cape Town, and NSC member seconded to the Secretariat, Ntshadi Mofokeng, who is based in Johannesburg.
For more information, contact Jaco van Rensburg at jaco@tada.org.za