Joburg Theatre Youth Programme graduation ceremony


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After 3 years of study, four theatre groups from disadvantaged communities came together as theatre makers to contribute to the social transformation in South Africa. This Joburg Theatre-based group is the first to complete the 3-year Applied Performing Arts and Arts Management (APAAM) Training Programme.

Bearing witness to this remarkable achievement, peers and families are invited to join in celebrating the difference that this project and its participants are making to the social transformation agenda in our country through the arts. This flagship collaboration between Joburg Theatre’s Youth Development Programme and University of the Witwatersrand, Drama for Life Department was developed from mutual vested interest in youth, arts and development. Working with 4 youth-led community-based organisations, vulnerable to shifts in paradigms and landscapes of arts and development, the project was established to build capacity in local youth. It serves to support the enhancement and sustainability of community-based performing arts organisations. The training programme focuses on business, creative, performance, technical aspects and aims to develop the professionalism at which these youth-led performing arts organisations operate within their local community settings.

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Located within the discipline of applied drama and theatre, the theoretical underpinnings of the training programme is framed by key principles guiding methods of facilitation, group-based practice, and embodied processes. The Applied Performing Arts and Arts Management Training Programme employs a developmental approach to its pedagogy and practice that is relevant to local realities, responsive to social contexts and considerate of organisation capacities and limitations. The integration of community practice informed by cultures and traditions, both locally and beyond, complements the training’s interdisciplinary approach, based on inclusivity and an appreciation of diversity.

Fundamentally, this programme advocates the institution of a rights-based discourse dominated by ideologies supporting a non-discriminatory and inclusive approach to the advancement of youth, art and development in the national transformation project. To inspire and motivate, in participating organisations, an understanding of the value and agency that they hold to effect change, the Applied Performing Arts and Arts Management Training Programme creates spaces for participants to share and enhance their knowledge of, and experience in, performing arts disciplines, development approaches and project management practices within the current local context.

An announcement for the 2017 to 2019 intake is currently underway where community theatre groups are invited to submit their profiles.

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