Market Theatre: A trading place for new narratives

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Market Theatre: A Trading Place for New Narratives with Blackboard Africa
Market Theatre: A Trading Place for New Narratives with Blackboard Africa

Inter-generation dialogues will take place at the Market Theatre every six weeks through a partnership between Blackboard Africa and the Market Theatre Foundation.

The partnership was officially launched when Blackboard Africa and the Market Theatre Foundation formally sign an MOU on Thursday 25 May after the performance of James Ngcobo’s production of The Suit.

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Blackboard Africa is a social movement that intends to focus the perceptions of black youth to a positive narrative. The youth-driven initiative, which has already hosted several dialogue events in Johannesburg, is a platform for inter-generational audiences to freely express their voices about the past, present and future, say its founders, 16-year-old Amonge Sinxoto, a Grade 11 learner at Kingsmead College and Zingisa Socikwa (21), a film student at Tshwane University of Technology.

“We want to redefine and model how people in the world view our African identity and move away from negative, preconceived, colonial settings,” says Amonge. “Blackboard Africa seeks to paint a beautiful picture on a clean blackboard through the eyes of the vibrant youth.”

Every 6 weeks, Blackboard Africa will take a full-house show at the Market Theatre. The performance will be followed by a post-performance. Inter-generational panellists will be invited to participate in the discussions.

“We want the visit to the theatre to be a place and an opportunity to share ideas. We want to inspire our appetites through literature, music, drama, spoken word, art and sharing of beautiful stories,” added Zingiswa.

Recently the Market Theatre Foundation restructured its Audience Development post to an Audience Engagement Strategist post.

“We want our audiences, particularly our youth audiences, to find a home at the Market Theatre. If we can be a place where young people can trade in creativity and ideas then we are taking a bold step towards building and sustaining our future audiences,” says Ismail Mahomed, CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation.

The MOU event on Thursday 25 May marked the culmination of the Market Theatre’s Africa Month focus held during May and marks the beginning of next month’s Youth Month focus.

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