Magnet Theatre’s Community Arts Development programme, the Culture Gangs, works to support existing youth drama groups in Cape Town’s townships. In 2017, the groups being supported are Chris Hani High School in Khayelitsha, iThemba Labantu Lutheran Community Centre in Philiphi, Lesedi Arts Youth Group in Vrygrond and Project Playground in Langa.
The aim of the programme is to create “gangs of youth who are committed to culture and not to crime”. It achieves this by providing “monthly skills workshops, theatre visits, holiday programmes […] career guidance and assistance with identifying and applying for further education opportunities”. Additionally, at the end of the year, the drama groups present a final performance onstage at Magnet Theatre in front of their peers, families and community members.
You can watch the video below to hear from three of the youth participants, or scroll through the pictures below to see a Culture Gangs workshop in action:
The pictures below show Culture Gangs Facilitator Yonela Sithela working with youth from Chris Hani High School:
The Culture Gangs Project is supported by Rand Merchant Bank, Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, Hosken Consolidated Investments Ltd Foundation, and Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports Expanded Public Works Programme.
© Dialogue Community Performance / Magnet Theatre