Those of us familiar with Newtown know that this is the one place in Joburg that can bring together artists from all walks of life. What brings them together all the more is The Market Lab.
This suburb is filled with art and creativity, surrounded by many facilities that practice the arts, share the arts and render the arts. We are absolutely spoiled for choice here. The most dominant art form in Newtown is theatre.
This calls for an introduction to the market laboratory; the urban and sophisticated theatre that is an element of the traditional nostalgic Market Theatre. Situated right across from the historical Museum Africa and Mary Fitzgerald Square, this beautiful architecture has not even been around for five years and it’s already a hit in the industry for drama, comedy, romance and storytelling at its best. Not only is it a platform for actors and storytellers, but for dancers too.
The Market Theatre Laboratory inspires, creates and perfects the craft and amazing talent, and helps the artists pursue their dreams. This concept was founded by Barney Simon and Dr John Kani; big names in the industry.
The Market Theatre Laboratory is one of the pillars under the The Market Theatre umbrella, so we can’t separate the two. We also can’t ignore the amazing work that they do in supporting young and talented artists with disadvantaged backgrounds.
What gives the ‘Lab’ a special edge is the support around it, which includes Photo Workshop, The Windybrow Arts Centre and The Foundation.
Their courses allow room for creativity, with courses like the Introduction to Performance & Theatre Skills programme and modules that include acting, theatre-making, mime and physical theatre and voice, with many more options available.
For the writers and all-round creators there are writing, design and stage management courses to better equip students. What better place is there to study arts than a hub of creativity?
There is also a dance school that welcomes all dancers (and those who don’t consider themselves ‘dancers’) to come and enjoy performance and to learn more about dance. They offer tap dance, kasie jive and contemporary, among others. The open dance classes welcome everyone and includes classes for kids and adults.
The Market Lab has showcased amazing work and have collaborated with great companies to create a collective, the Windybrow Arts Centre. The Market Theatre Laboratory has also launched a new drama company to take the performance scene to a new level.
This theatre has seen productions like The Little Prince, Hani Musical and screenings by National Theatre. Check out a cool production and support the young talent our country has to offer.