The Baxter Theatre Centre chief executive and artistic director Lara Foot holds one of the donation methods for the 40/80 Campaign, which launched this past week. The campaign is to help raise funds for the centre for generations to come.
Cape Town - The Baxter Theatre Centre has proven itself to be the people’s theatre over the past 40 years, showcasing the best of local and international productions on a shoestring budget.

And in true theatrical fashion, to help celebrate its 40th anniversary on August 1, the theatre has pulled out all the stops as it attempts to further its legacy.

This week, the theatre launched a public fund-raising initiative, the 40/80 Campaign, to ensure the Baxter remains a crucial and vibrant venue for generations to come.

The campaign is to help raise funds for the theatre, which is partially funded by UCT and “does not receive any funding from the national government or from the National Lotteries Commission”.

UCT covers only 40% of the Baxter’s expenses, which means it has to source the rest independently.

For the past 10 years, the lottery has denied the Baxter funding due to its association with UCT and it is not eligible for government funding because it is not a state-owned entity.

Chief executive and artistic director Lara Foot said the main purpose of the campaign was to raise the production budget and for the busiest independent theatre in Africa to continue producing engaging political shows.

“The Baxter was born as a political theatre and it remains (that way). We inspire to provoke and bring people together in an act of enlightenment.

“We want to grow our production budget and we need the people of Cape Town to do this.”

Foot invited all art and theatre lovers to donate. She has also committed to continue to lobby the government and the lotteries commission.

Cast members from The Fall, a play which shares the experiences of seven recent UCT graduates during the #RhodesMustFall and subsequent student movements, paid tribute to the Baxter.

Calling it their home, they re-emphasised the Baxter’s role in making of the play and, especially, young black talent feel like they belong and that they have a stage on which to showcase their work.

There are five ways in which to get involved and contribute towards the campaign, one being to donate a minimum of R10 extra when purchasing a ticket.

All the information can be found on the Baxter’s website: www.baxter.co.za.

Weekend Argus