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Monday, October 12, 2015


The Theatre Arts Admin Collective is running a crowdfunding campaign through the platform Thundafund.

Cape Town’s home for independent theatre practitioners, the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, is running a crowdfunding campaign through the platform Thundafund, in order to enrich the arts industry with its highly successful Emerging Theatre Directors Bursary.

With insufficient opportunities in the local South African industry for young directors to direct, let alone to flex their muscles and find out what they are capable of, the theatre industry is losing much of its talent. However, when emerging voices are given opportunity, space and support, the result is often dynamic.

A breakthrough project in the theatre industry in 2010, the Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s Emerging Theatre Directors Bursary (previously funded by GIPCA and Distell, and with an ongoing partnership with the Baxter Theatre Centre) has changed the way people are thinking about young directors and has placed new winners into the consciousness of those who matter.

Past winners are currently on fire, Thando Doni is now regarded as one of the most talented directors in Cape Town; Kim Kerfoot who in his bursary year directed Fugard’s Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act and Athol Fugard recommended that he take it to The Fugard Theatre. From there it went to the Edinburgh Festival, and the following year they commissioned Kerfoot to direct Master Harold and the Boys. Since then Kerfoot has garnered Ovation Awards at the National Arts Festival for Get Kraken (written by Jon Keevy) and The Things you left Behind (by Jason Potgieter).

Khayelihle Dom Gumede has just had a sold-out run at the Market Theatre with his electric Crepuscule and Phala Ookeditse Phala walked away from the National Arts Festival this year with the Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award. Tara Notcutt now spends the better part of her time taking work to international festivals, while Lidija Marelic wooed audiences in Johannesburg with her new work Cheers to Sarajevo and Amy Jephta is continuing to write some of the most sharply crafted plays in this country.

Being at the start of a young director’s career is possibly the most exciting place to be, and to be personally involved through investment is visionary and deeply satisfying. “That is why we are crowdfunding – providing you with an opportunity to be there at the start and to know that you have played an essential role in this person’s career,” says Caroline Calburn, Director of Theatre Arts Admin Centre, “The development of theatre and the direction it takes is your thrill, your chance to trailblaze.”

Although still a foreign concept for many, crowdfunding is gaining momentum in South Africa as a way for creatives and entrepreneurs to connect with a supportive community to raise capital for innovative initiatives, instead of relying on government grants, loans, or large corporate investments.

Thundafund is South Africa’s crowdfunding leader and, through the website, members of the public are able to contribute to the project through tiered “Rewards” – where different monetary amounts earn different tokens of appreciation from the organisation, such as letters of thanks, posters, and invitations to rehearsals.

To support the Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s Emerging Theatre Directors Bursary, visit