The Makukhanye Theatre in Khayelitsha is hosting a programme to teach black emerging artists critical stage and performance skills so they can blossom in the industry.
The theatre is working with a group of 15 unemployed youth from Khayelitsha and Mfuleniwho are being tutored in music, dance and creative writing, the role of an assistant stage manager, stage craft, vocals, poetry and administration.
They are already working on a play called X-Attack, which tackles xenophobia and the impact of black on black violence in communities.
Makukhanye artistic director, Mandiso Sindo, said this was their way of giving back to the community.
He said the programme would empower the students and unlock opportunities for them.
He said their main aim was to develop a community of informed leaders while inspiring artists to create productions which tackle important issues.
Mr Sindo said artists should be versatile and believe in themselves. He said the classes and experience gained would enable them to create and get jobs.
“We will teach them how to be independent as performers. This is a platform for them to see the light and be on the working field. We prepare them for the working environment and sustain their artistic ability,” said Mr Sindo.
He said the students would be given an opportunity to work at the annual Fleur du Cap theatre awards at the Baxter Theatre taking place this month. The awards recognise theatre practitioners for acting, directing, staging and technical abilities.
Mr Sindo said they wanted to give hope to the youth and make them realise that they can make a living out of art.
He also appealed for public support for the programme as they struggled to secure funding to cover some of their operational costs.
He described the programme as being a bold step in uplifting the township art industry.