Cape Town has a new theatre now that the Waterfront Theatre School has repurposed what used to be the St Nicholas Chapel, the old Anglican Mission to Seafarers.
Named the Keith Galloway Theatre, after the school’s co-founder, the additional theatre can seat 72 to 80 people, depending on the configuration.
Speaking at the theatre’s launch, Waterfront Theatre School partner Paul Griffiths, explained that they were opening the theatre as an alternative for small, new production companies.
It was also particularly good for newly graduated students who do not necessarily have the financial wherewithall to use big established theatre spaces.
“There’s no point in giving people the skills without giving them the spaces to showcase what they can do,” said Griffiths.
He envisages establishing a network of smaller Cape Town theatres which would act as a fringe space for smaller companies, once they get the theatre established.
It isn’t just about giving the small fry a chance to experiment and spread their wings, but also is good for audience development.
Griffiths pointed out that the work that they are programming, at least for the first quarter of this year, is heavily skewed towards youth and young adults to dispel the myth that theatre is just for an older generation of people.
Waterfront Theatre School co-founder Delia Sainsbury (pictured, who co-founded the school with husband, Keith Galloway) pointed out that not everyone who studies drama or music is equipped to walk straight into a big show.
“Not everybody is a triple threat. There are people who want to experiment with music, or maybe don’t want to work on the big commercial shows. They can start their own creative process here,” said Sainsbury.
By positioning the theatre on the school’s campus their students will get a chance to learn what goes into producing a show and the spirit of entrepreurship becomes a reality instead of an academic exercise.
In addition to providing an experimental space for theatregoers to flex their imagination, the Keith Galloway Theatre will also become the new home for Improguise, the improve theatre group who will make Monday nights theatre- sports nights.
• The next production presented by the Galloway Theatre will be The Regulars… Returns from March 6 to 8. Check www.waterfrontheatreschool. co.za for details.