In these very trying times, we at Artscape want to assure everyone that we are continuously doing all we can in line with the directives from the South African government to ensure the well-being and safety of all our employees, producers and artists who depend on our stages as their main source of income. Unlike some of us who work for a regular salary, many of our artists and producers cannot say the same as many of them are freelancers.

With this as preamble, Artscape has put together a team to research the best ways in which to approach their “new normal” with respect to some of its programmes. This required a holistic approach to the existing 2020 programme and how to respond positively and equitably to the needs of producers and theatre makers without any unnecessary cancelations. Postponements will also be looked at once we have more clarity about lockdown alert levels. 

“We cannot roll out all our programmes as per pre-Covid-19. We therefore had to put heads firmly together to identify those programmes that will best serve the largest possible theatre community during this challenging time. Works need to be relevant, of a high quality – that people have come to expect from us – and, very importantly, it needs to offer out-of-work theatre people a chance to make a living,” insists Marlene le Roux, CEO of Artscape. “We also needed to identify those programmes that speak to the youth and that have educational elements,” she continues. 

The decisions, in broad strokes, are as follows:  

  • Radio dramas of fresh new works from Artscape’s popular New Voices programme will be scheduled for community radio stations in June, July and August; 
  • The Suidoosterfees, NaTi and The Jakes Gerwel Trust have collaborated with Artscape to bring a fresh new drama to radio stations as the first piece to be aired – watch this space for more details;
  • The very popular “Vlooi/Kipper” children’s theatre production will get a new twist – also on radio to be rolled out in July 2020
  • The 2019 Youth Classical Concert – always a huge hit annually – will this year be broadcast on FMR on Youth Day, 16 June 2020
  • The annual Youth Jazz and Youth Classical programmes will also take in a new format this year with auditions being solicited via a video submission and the final concerts to be presented in a virtual format in October.

A more comprehensive media release will be sent out soon to give the details of each of the above programmes. We will be providing more information as and when other programmes are finalised with producers.