Extending The Olive Branch
The Olive Tree Theatre in Marlboro is the brainchild of Ntshieng Mokgoro, an award winning director and playwright. With the Sandton CBD and the Alexandra township at its doorstep, this independent arts centre bridges the divide between class and race, bringing local theatre to audiences of all kinds. On one hand, the work showcased here gives new life to South African performance, migrating away from European theatre models to create a consciousness of the realities of life outside of the glitz and glamour of Sandton. And on the other hand, the theatre exposes residents of the township to theatre in a way they have never seen before. There is no pretense here, the space welcomes one and all into an open theatre environment, where personal expression is valued above all else.
Since 2013, The Olive Tree Theatre has hosted the Women’s Theatre Festival. Welcoming both local and international female directors into their space, they encourage women to share their stories and experiences, using their own voices. The theatre also invites in young artists looking for a platform to test their work. Describing themselves as a “melting pot for South African arts and culture“, the Olive Tree Theatre stages works of all kinds, from dance, to spoken word, full-length plays and music events. Their venue is also just a cool place to hang out with friends. Take a seat at the bar and enjoy the sights and sounds going on in all corners of this unique Jozi gem.
The Olive Tree Film Club
The Olive Tree Film Club is an extension of the work pioneered by the theatre. Begun by aspiring filmmaker Banele P. Mtebele, this community development platform introduces Alexandra audiences to the magic and power of film. Noticing that the culture of watching films in Alexandra was more about status than entertainment, Mtebele endeavored to create a platform for young filmmakers to showcase their work. The Olive Tree Film Club is free to attend, with free popcorn and refreshments as well, breaking boundaries by inviting anyone with an interest in film to come and watch, engage and enjoy. The film club celebrates mostly African film, but also screens international titles with relevant messages to their audience. From dramas, to biopics, documentaries and kung fu action blockbusters, there is something for every kind of film fundi here.
Why Visit Olive Tree Theatre
We can think of a couple of reasons to pop by this quirky arts centre. Firstly, it’s highly accessible – just off the M1, it sits right between Sandton and Johannesburg East. Secondly, it’s a super cool place to hang out with deep thinkers, creators and ordinary people. Finally, there are no expectations here. Unlike formal theatre spaces, the Olive Tree Theatre doesn’t restrict audiences in any way. Clap when you feel the performers deserve applause, leave if you are bored, or celebrate their triumphant success with a series of ululations. We hope this is enough to convince you to pay them a visit as soon as possible!
For More Information
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Details: 78, 2nd Street, Marlboro, Sandton, Johannesburg | 011 048 6152 | firstname.lastname@example.org