The Inspiring Work of Magnet Theatre

Creating New Theatrical Communities In Cape Town

In May and June 2017, members of the Dialogue team were lucky enough to spend time with the wonderful Magnet Theatre in Cape Town.

Magnet Theatre is an independent South African physical theatre company that runs theatre outreach programmes in local townships, delivers a full-time professional training programme for young people wanting to get into the Performing Arts industry, and produces original works which tour both nationally and internationally.

Seeing their various programmes firsthand was truly a privilege, and we are very glad to be able to share some of the resources we created about their valuable work with you here.

A great starting point is an interview with Artistic Director and Trustee, Jennie Reznek in which she explains the main pillars of Magnet’s programmes.

You can learn more about their ‘Culture Gangs’ Community Arts Development programme, which operates in 4 townships across Cape Town. There’s also a couple of multimedia page on Spirit Songs (click here for Part 1 or here for Part 2), a co-production with the International Theatre and Literacy Project, which was performed by some of the young people from the Culture Gangs.

To understand the training programme some more, check out the Day in the Life photo essay, which documents what the current trainees are getting up to. To hear about the programme from a different perspective, you can read testimony from 19 alumni about what the opportunity gave them, as well as what they are up to now as a result of their training. You can also see the talent of past and present trainees on display in our materials about the Braai reunion held at Magnet in June.

Or perhaps you’d be interested in our eight posts about ‘Rocking the Cradle’, a 3-day Fringe Festival of Theatre for Early Years hosted by Magnet Theatre (in connection with the ASSITEJ Cradle of Creativity). Materials on Magnet’s productions of ‘AHA!’, ‘KNOCK!’ and ‘Paired’, which were presented as part of this Fringe Festival, are all available.

Finally, for more insight to some of Magnet’s other production work, click here to learn more about ‘Sandscape’ or here for more on ‘Ekhaya’, two productions which formed part of the wider Cradle of Creativity festival.

Magnet Theatre is currently supported by TK FoundationRand Merchant BankOppenheimer Memorial TrustHosken Consolidated Investments Ltd FoundationRolf-Stefan Nussbaum FoundationAmpersand FoundationPotjie FoundationBusiness Arts South AfricaWestern Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports Expanded Public Works ProgrammeJoan St Leger Lindbergh Charitable Trust, and Distell.

© Dialogue Community Performance / Magnet Theatre