Theatre Trade Fair a first for SA’s six PAI’s


Theatre Trade FairSA’s six state-funded Performing Arts Institutions (PAI’s) will come together for the first time at the Market Theatre in an inaugural Arts Incubator Trade Fair.

The week-long Arts Incubator Trade Fair will shine the spotlight on their arts development programmes, showcasing a diverse offering of theatre, poetry and dance produced and presented by Artscape, the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (Pacofs), the Durban Playhouse, The South Africa State Theatre, the Windybrow Arts Centre and the Market Theatre. In addition, the Market Photo Workshop will present a new exhibition and document the Trade Fair.

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Over the past two years, each of the six Performing Arts Institutions have received a grant from the Department of Arts and Culture’s Incubator Fund to unleash the economic potential of the creative sector through a structured programme of skills-training and development of locally produced content in the performing and visual arts sectors. The projects developed by the six institutions have already made an impact in their own spaces. The Incubator’s Trade Fair will bring them altogether under one roof at the Market Theatre from 18–25 June 2017.

Mr Ismail Mahomed. Photo by Suzy Bernstein.
Mr Ismail Mahomed. Photo by Suzy Bernstein.

“While this showcase of young talent will provide added exposure for the participants it is a huge step forward in encouraging the six Performing Arts Institutions to share best practices and to collectively catapult the careers of their Incubatees in to the wider arts economy. The coming together of these institutions will also create an opportunity to cross pollinate ideas and methodologies,” said the Market Theatre Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Ismail Mahomed.

During the week-long event the Incubatees will also participate in a series of capacity building workshops led by some of Johannesburg’s most dynamic writers, directors, designers and arts administrators. Networking opportunities will give the participants opportunities to meet with producers and to explore a diverse range employment opportunities in the arts and entertainment industries. The participants will also visit the South African Constitution Court and the Apartheid Museum during the Trade Fair week.

“Because most artists create socially-relevant and socially-engaged work we believe that a visit to these two iconic institutions will enrich their knowledge and give them a better grounding to develop the kind of work that they do,” added Mahomed.

The programme of theatre, dance and poetry performances will take place in the John Kani and the Ramolao Makhene at the Market Theatre complex. Tickets will be sold at an affordable rate of R30 making it possible for patrons to see as many shows as possible. A season ticket will be available at R100 per person for Saturday 24 June 2017 performances. Bookings will open at Webtickets on Wednesday 24 May 2017.

The inaugural Incubator’s Trade Fair is presented with a grant secured by the Market Theatre Foundation from the Department of Arts and Culture.

“The Incubator Arts Fair funded by the DAC is an effective vehicle for the DAC to highlight the key role that it can play to assist emerging artists to acquire additional skills that will lead to productive careers in the performing and visual arts industries,” said Penny Morris, the Market Theatre’s fundraiser and stakeholder relationships manager.

Arts and entertainment corporates and cultural organisations who would like to take an exhibition table at the Arts Incubator’s Trade Fair can write to Donna McLaggan at

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