Youth Development

Joburg Theatre operates as a Municipal Entity within the City of Joburg’s Community Development Sector, aligning its strategic priorities with the city’s Growth and Development Structure (GDS) towards 2040.

The Youth Development Department at Joburg Theatre is a department mandated with the development of young artists and audiences.

Areas of focus:


Intake:  Community Groups auditions – Next audition call January 2017

3 Year programme completed over 3 – 5 month in class training.  The Community theatre groups are expected to continue with the community theatre work by introducing and applying skills acquired through class attendance.

Community Theatre enhancing and social development project; which aims to teach and train young, aspiring performers, directors, writers, technicians and managers working in arts education, community based theatre and applied performing arts.

Community Theatre Groups Intake: 2014 – 2016
1. The CAVE Productions – Johannesburg Inner City
2. African Golden Horns Swaneville/Kagiso  – Mogale City
3. Ambitious Theatre Group – Orange Farm
4. Die Dinge – Diepsloot

Creative Module
Facilitators: Moses Rasekele D | Cherae Halley | Refiloe Lepere
Aims to develop participants’ theoretical and practical understanding of creative elements which contribute to the development of a production namely – directing skills, writing skills and applied theatre underpinnings. Building on the first years’ introductory creative module, the aim of this module is to deepen the ability to produce theatre which serves to tell a story. This course will enable the way in which community theatre groups select, direct and write the types of stories they are currently telling. With a strong focus on story/storyteller/storytelling this module will entail three topics: the director as storyteller, playwriting using storytelling techniques and applied drama.

Performance Module
Facilitators: Tony Miyambo | Tshego Khutsoane
• To provide students with stimuli and tools for building performance
• Explore meaning making through theatre elements, vocal elements and physical (involving site and body) elements
• Integrate vocal and physical elements to explore characterisation, motivation, subtext, mood and tension
• Introduce costume/props and space /site as integral to performance activity
• Explore the creation of a theatre work based on a group developed text
• Explore the creation of performance text material that reflects the concerns and context of the creators in an innovative and impactful way through devising stimuli.
• Develop a participant with an ability to understand and identify the physical, vocal,  characterisation and space considerations important to performance.
• To create a new and exciting creative voice that is relevant to the socio-economic times.
• To equip emerging creatives with production aspects such as text analysis, interpretation and performance of one’s original work.
• To develop creatives’ confidence through telling one’s own personal story.

Technical Module Aims
Benjamin Bell | Lindani Mxumalo | Hlomohang ‘Spider’ Mothetho
• To affirm and deepen the understanding of the design team’s “Tools of the Trade”, including appropriate theatre terminology, a working understanding of various technical equipment and set-building equipment.
• Learning the tools and techniques of practical Stage Management.
• A focus on practical safety of theatrical personnel as well as the appropriate management of theatre equipment.
• To empower individuals to take on the creative design challenge in under-resourced community theatre environments.
• Add holistic design elements to their productions that lift the practical and aesthetic and understanding of the thematic content of their performances.

Business Module Aims
Facilitators: Lonwabo Mavuso | Munyaradzi Chatikobo | Lerato Bopape | Caryn Green
Building on the first years’ introductory fundraising module, the aim of this module is deepen proposal writing skill and then introduce participants to projects management using a festival as a case example of a project. The module will entail proposal writing, networking and partnership management, project management (introducing project life cycle), monitoring and evaluation of projects as well as closure, monitoring and evaluation principals and reporting.


The workshops are designed and facilitated by Dr Duma Ndlovu and are held every Thursday throughout the year (February to November). Trainees are selected through auditions that take place in January at Joburg Theatre each year.

The workshops are candid, practical and conversational. Everyone gets given to perform in class and Dr Duma always connects the trainees’ class performance with their audition for the sake of tracing progress. After all, you are only as good as last performance.

The workshops cover various performance related topics such as: building a character, understanding the story, knowing the text/script, etc. Dr Ndlovu also tackles the importance of Knowing Yourself. The tool of the actor is their body and an actor must always be aware of their body and what it’s capable of. Trainees also receive life lessons from the class, where Dr Ndlovu discusses fame, money and important values such as determination, respect, and good character amongst others.


Youth Unplugged is a music programme aimed at unearthing musical talent of South Africa. This programme desires to reach into hidden corners and backrooms of South Africa and unplug the young musicians who are arrested by poverty and lack of exposure. Youth Unplugged seeks to develop and expose that one great talent at a time. The programme is none competitive yet provides music skills development and industry education through coaches who are industry professionals.

Upcoming Programmes

Poetry Dot Slam – Slam. Poetry is an initiative by the Joburg Theatre Youth Development in partnership with Current State Presentations. With the aim of aiding in the building of a stable and sustainable poetry industry, the programme will operate in four branches:

  • Writing, performance and business in the arts workshops
  • Poetry Sessions.
  • Poetry Slams
  • Showcases

Writing, Performance, and business in arts workshops will be held on the first Saturday and second Sunday of every month facilitated by experienced performance artists, and experts in business of the arts. The workshops are free and open to the public.

Open Poetry Sessions

– Poetry sessions will be held on the third Sunday of every month. This will be a non–‐competitive stage where the poets who went through the workshop can perform without the pressure of being scored.

– The venue is the Cas Coovadia studio at Joburg Theatre from 15:00 to 18:00

The admission is a Pay What You Can

Poetry Slams The Slams will take place on the first Saturday of every Month. This is a competitive stage that will happen in two categories:

The Open Slam and the One–‐on–‐One Slam. The admission is R50 a ticket from 14:00 to 18:00

About the Open Slam:

Each month the Slam.Poetry team will host writing and performance workshops in the Cas Coovadia studio where the 12 most promising poets will be selected to compete.

It will result in 2 poets qualifying for the SA National Poetry Slam to be held on June 25 2016 at Fringe Theatre at Joburg Theatre.

The top 4 poets from the Nationals will form part of the team of 4 that will represent South Africa at the Individual World Poetry Slam (iWPS) in October 2016.

The slam format mirrors that of the iWPS:

 About the One–on–One Slam:

It is by invitation only and will feature poets who have carved a name for themselves in the SA Poetry scene.

It will result in 2 poets qualifying for the SA National Poetry Slam to be held on June 25 The top 4 poets from the Nationals will form part of the team of 4 which will represent South Africa at the Individual World Poetry Slam (iWPS) in October 2016.

The slam format mirrors that of the iWPS with a slight twist.


This stage will showcase poetry in performance one–‐handers double–‐billed with a music performance. The admission is R100 a ticket. The venue is the auditorium from 19:00 to 21:30


The Shakespeare’s Schools Festival – The Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa (SSF SA) is an opportunity for young people at school level to make their theatre debut on a professional stage in a non-competitive environment.

The Festival offers high school students the opportunity to engage their education curriculum for the first time on a professional stage regardless of background, ability or location. This thrilling, non-competitive environment builds capacity, character and allows students to explore aptitudes in a range of work fields such as history/geography consultants; wardrobe and props advisors; student company managers; creative directors in music and art; marketing, sound and lighting, directing and various other career-shaping experiences.

United by a life-changing opportunity to engage with one another, across the barriers of language, background through education and community-building. Joburg Theatre Youth Development presents the 2016 Shakespeare Schools festival


The venue operates as a performance space for Young people to showcase their artistic work;

Theatre/Plays, Stand-up Comedy, Poetry/Poetry in performance, Dance and Music.

Young artists are encouraged to bring artistic programmes in venue.   The Theatre enters Door deal agreement in waiver of the rental fee.

Visiting companies need to submit their company profile, a synopsis of the work they would like to produce, the number of individuals involved in the company and their roles, number of performances required, number of days rehearsal space required and production technical rider as may be applicable.

The theatre offers publicity support through its website, sending out information to arts journalists and publishing the information on theatre’s social pages. is made available to young producers/artists based on availability of dates, as there is a large influx of requests from young art practitioners requesting to showcase their work.  The request vary from full seasons and 1 day showcases.



Community Development Manager: Nondumiso Sithole 011 877 6867 –

Youth Development Marketing Intern: Precious Motloung 011 877 6867

Resident Stage Technician: Miza Ngaye 011 877-6840