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Olive Tree Theatre Production will be launched by theatre director, playwright and producer, Ntshieng Mokgoro, to promote the theatre arts in the township.
ALEXANDRA, the old township in the northeast of the city, is to have its own theatre production company, launching at a gala dinner on Saturday, 31 March.

Olive Tree TheatreOlive Tree Theatre Production: Putting Alex on the arts mapCalled Olive Tree Theatre Production, the theatre company has been formed by the theatre director, playwright and producer, Ntshieng Mokgoro.

According to the company spokesperson, Otto Moloto, Mokgoro was voted one of 300 most influential young people in South Africa by Mail and Guardian, the weekly newspaper. She was the first black female to win a Standard Bank Young Artist Award and the Graham Lindop Theatre Award for the best young director.

“She is ranked among the best female theatre directors in the country, including Lara Foot Newtown, Claire Stopford, Fiona Ramsay and Janice Honeyman, to name a few,” he says.

Among her work are theatre productions such as Umdlwembe, which won the Standard Bank Best Youth Production and Veil of Tears, nominated in the 2006/7 Naledi Awards. Another of her productions, Thursday Child, premiered at the Market Theatre and toured Europe in 2009. Mokgoro also directed Monde Manyephu’s The Pen.

“Working mostly from makeshift theatres spaces and sometimes tough Alexandra township environments, Mokgoro has brewed some of the most exciting productions that delighted audiences on both national and international stages.”

Moloto says Olive Tree will promote mainly women in theatre and the arts. “We are a conduit of discussions and discourse, a platform that will engage with different avenues to grow confidence and bring new stories to the stage.”

It will focus on telling stories about ordinary life and mundane daily experiences, he explains. “Stories we tell when we plait each other’s hair or when we cook and gossip during our huge family gatherings. Stories that have never left our kitchen tables to a wider audience,” Mokgoro adds.

The launch will feature a potpourri of music, theatre and poetry, according to Moloto. Attendees can expect to see two theatre productions, a live music performance by a local band and enjoy a three-course meal.

“A number of prominent arts personalities have been invited to share their views on the advancement of arts and artists in theatre,” he says.

Olive Tree Theatre Productions will be launched at the Thusong Youth Centre on Eighth Avenue in Alexandra at 2.30pm. Admission is R150 per head and group bookings of 10 or more cost R130 each. For tickets call Thabo Makgaretsa on 011 079 4153 or 076 436 0415.


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