“Collaborations and partnerships are the buzzwords at the Market Theatre,” so says Ismail Mahomed the CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation.
With recently clocking off 100 days under his belt as the CEO of the Market Theatre after a successful tenure as the Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival, Mahomed says that he wishes to bring his recipe of success of forging partnerships to the Market Theatre Foundation.
On Friday 2 December, the Market Theatre Foundation will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Embassy of France and French Institute of South Africa to explore and support cultural collaborations that are of mutual interests. The MOU will be signed by Kwanele Gumbi, the Chairperson of the Market Theatre Foundation and Frank Marchetti, the Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of France in South Africa.
The Embassy of France in South Africa aims to develop cooperation between our two countries, using arts and culture as a bridge. The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) is the cultural arm of the Embassy and, as such, is a key player in supporting artistic events in various domains, throughout the year and around the country, ranging from dance, theatre, puppetry to music, gastronomy, design and architecture, art exhibitions, cinema and literature. Highly demanding in offering quality creations while favouring the exchange of ideas between communities, IFAS strives to introduce French and Francophone artists in South Africa, to promote South African artists on the international artistic scene and to support artistic residencies leading to original creations.
The signing of the MOU will take place at the refurbished Windybrow Arts Centre, a Pan-African focused initiative that is the fourth business unit of the Market Theatre Foundation. The other business units are the Market Theatre complex with its three performance venues, The Market Theatre Laboratory and the Market Photo Workshop.
The MOU also marks the first collaboration between the French Institute of South Africa and the Market Theatre Foundation since Mahomed has taken up his tenure as CEO.
“It is heartwarming that this MOU will be followed by a short season of Robyn Orlin’s work that will be presented at the John Kani in the Market Theatre complex. Robyn has had a long association with the Market Theatre. She has danced on our stages and taught at the Market Theatre Laboratory. Presenting her during our 40th anniversary celebrations is an obvious choice,” Mahomed said.
Robyn Orlin’s new work titled In a world full of butterflies, it takes balls to be a caterpillar… some thoughts on falling…’ will be presented at the Market Theatre in association with the French Institute of South Africa on Tuesday 6 December and Wednesday 7 December at 20:00. Robyn Orlin will also conduct a master class at the Market Theatre Laboratory.
Responding to the partnership, Frank Marchetti said, “Since its creation in 1995 in Newtown Junction, just across the Market Theatre actually, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) has been a strong supporter of the arts in South Africa. Even though it moved a few years ago to Braamfontein, its links with the Market Theatre have always been strong, promoting artists such as Vincent Mantsoe, Dada Masilo and William Kentridge, who have performed at the Market Theatre and have strong international careers in France. By bringing artists and productions from France to the South African stages, we also strike conversation and new partnerships between French and South African artists, institutions and audiences. Few institutions have the aura and history of the Market Theatre’s four decades of cutting edge, contemporary and authentic performances, and we are proud to partner once again together.”
The Market Theatre Foundation celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.