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Wednesday, May 27, 2020


(Debra Batzofin)

The ultimate guide to running a theatre by Debra Batzofin.

Commissioned some years ago by the Market Theatre CEO, Ismail Mahomed, to write a book to assist students, Debra could not be happier that she has come full circle with the book now being available to all students via the Market Theatre website at no cost.

Managing a theatre can be a daunting prospect. Budgets, contracts, staff, technical equipment, marketing, maintenance, ticketing … the list goes on. And that is not even mentioning the creative egos!

Fortunately, help is at hand. Debra Batzofin, a seasoned theatre manager and administrator with 46 years’ experience in the South African and international entertainment industry, has written an indispensable guide to operating a venue.

Titled Beginners on Stage …. Ask Miss B, this industry handbook concisely sets out all you need to know about managing a theatre. From legalities and labour issues to the nuts and bolts of dealing with outside producers, Batzofin covers it all.

Far from being a staid handbook, it includes useful practical examples supplemented by friendly advice drawn from her many years of working in all aspects of the performing arts. Beginners on Stage …. Ask Miss B is an essential tool to help newcomers (and even professionals) navigate the minefield of theatre management with success and confidence.

Batzofin has been General Manager for Trevor Noah: There’s a Gupta on my Stoep, John Edward, international psychic medium, Winnie the Opera, Saturday Night Fever and Hairspray. She was the producer for Road to MAMA, MTV, NickFest for Nickelodeon, Comedy Central international Comedy Festival, The Loeries international DStv Seminar of Creativity, to name but a few.

She now adds a new string to her bow with the management of Loyiso Madinga, an internationally acclaimed and award-winning comedian.

Since starting her theatre career in 1973, Batzofin has worked with top managements in all aspects of theatre, film and television. In 1983 she joined forces with Richard Loring to form one of the most successful independent theatre companies in South Africa. Career highlights with Richard Loring include a Persian Gulf tour of A Touch of Webber – A Taste of Rice and the Royal Command Performance of Girl Talk in Malaysia. At the Sound Stage, Debbie co-directed Girl Talk – Nite Out and Yellow Brick Road for which she received a Vita nomination. African Footprint highlights as Associate Producer and Company/Tour Manager: Millennium Night on Robben Island; 2000 Royal Command Performance at St James’ Palace, London; and Monte Carlo Sporting Club’s 30th Anniversary performance. She joined Gold Reef City’s team which built both the Globe Theatre and Lyric Theatre and she headed up the Lyric Theatre team for three years. Most recent events include: Global Citizens Concert, South Africa and taking African Footprint to Dubai Global Village for a one-month season.

For further information contact Lusanda Zokufa, Market Theatre Senior Publicist, on 072 367 7867 or email: or visit