Charles Petersen retires after 47 years of magic production



Published Jan 15, 2022


Cape Town - Cape Town production doyen, Charles Petersen has announced his retirement after serving 47 years as a production manager.

Petersen joined then Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) in 1974 as a stage-hand and worked his way up to becoming the production manager.

He has worked on numerous productions including; Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Carmen, and a Christmas Carol – The Story of Scrooge during this time, first with CAPAB and then Cape Town City Ballet.

Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux said the production team would always refer to his work and his retirement would bring a huge gap.

“Charles has been instrumental in my growth since I joined Artscape all those years ago in the late 1990s.

“With his wealth of years of knowledge he took my hand and led me all the way towards a deeper understanding of the intricacies of this dynamic world we call the arts.

“He has been a great asset to the industry.

“He’ll now remain as one of our treasured and esteemed patrons as we now invite him to come and relax, instead of work on productions,” said Le Roux.

Petersen will officially retire at the end of this month after 47 years with ArtsCape, CAPAB and Cape Town City Ballet.

He says his first-time professional production called Sleeping Beauty which was under the directorship of Professor David Poole.

‘’I didn’t know too much about the arts world when I got the job.

“I was more of a sports fan, but I knew I wanted to commit myself to a job that I could make a long-term career with.

“I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to work with the great ballet names that I have, including Professor David Poole, Veronica Paeper, Professor Elizabeth Triegaardt, Robin van Wyk, Tracy Li and now Debbie Turner.

“I am very grateful to them for having shared their knowledge and recognise what I can bring to a production, as well as for the chance to have spent my career working in the world of ballet.’

‘’It is great to come to work and know that you are passionate about what you do and your work comes from your heart.

“Taking shows on tour was always an incredible experience.

“It is always inspiring to see that even if something goes wrong on a production, plans can be quickly put in place to ensure that the show still goes on.’’

He said during his retirement he will support the company during live performances as it has become something that is very close to his heart.

Petersen said he would now enjoy being at home and spending more time with his family.

CEO of Cape Town City Ballet Debbie Turner, said Petersen was a shining example to younger team members starting out in the industry, and his professionalism, humility and great skills made him a pleasure to work with.

“Charles’ wealth of experience and knowledge brings an added dimension to mounting a ballet.

“You know that you are in good hands and don’t have to worry as everything will be timeously in place for the start of rehearsals and putting on a show.

“Charles will be sorely missed and we look forward to welcoming him back to the theatre as one of our valued patrons.

“Thank you for your service Charles and Cape Town City Ballet salutes you!” she said.

His final production with Cape Town City Ballet will be from January 19 -22 at Artscape for A Christmas Carol – The Story of Scrooge.

Weekend Argus