Plans afoot to launch a theatre exchange programme

Louw Breytenbach recently returned from the USA with new knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to teach young artists.

Little Arts Live Theater’s (LALT) owner, Louw Breytenbach, is ready to share new insights with the Boksburg community.

This is after he travelled to America for an internship to teach and also learn about American performing arts at theatres and drama camps during July.

Breytenbach recently paid a visit to Florida where he learned more about the Serenbe Screenhouse Theatre in Atlanta. Serenbe presents plays that are specifically aimed at the youth and has won several awards, including an American Tony.

Breytenbach also attended one of Serenbe’s drama camps in Atlanta, as well as New York.

“Learners from all over America apply to be part of the camp and productions,” said Breytenbach.

“The methods and ideas that I witnessed and learnt of during my time in the United States will be used in our community classes in Boksburg, where we mostly work with children to prepare them for the world of theatre,” said Breytenbach.

The owner of the theatre, situated in Bartlett, said it was his seventh visit to America, but his first to Atlanta.

“Every time the experience is unbelievable. Their culture and lifestyle are so different to ours. This was also the first time that I went to learn from their theatres, and not just film culture or to have fun.”

He said his goal was to go to Atlanta, learn more about American theatre and bring back new insights to South Africa.

Breytenbach interned at four different theatres and learned more specifically about how they run their summer camps.

“The result of this was amazing. Two Americans will be coming to South Africa in October to learn from us and to see how we do things.

“They were so intrigued with South African theatre arts and how we work with children, that they decided to send educational directors from Serembi playhouse Jarred Boity and Cory Phelps to visit our camp.”

LALT Theatre House moved to a new premises in Bartlett.

  • Camp

He said plans are afoot to host Camp Broadway in SA from October 26 to 28 in Heidelburg.

“We will be merging the ideas and knowledge of American theatre with our own. Vocal training at the camp will be conducted by the well-known singer, pianist, violinist and actress Bianca le Grange.

“Philida le Roux will be the choreographer at the camp. She is a UCT ballet graduate and for the directing aspect. Jannes Erasmus, award-winning writer and director, will share his knowledge with the children.

“The idea is to the start an exchange programme from 2019 between South African and Atlantic students, for Grades 11 and 12 learners to get an opportunity to experience new things and learn from other culture and art forms.

“One of our main selling points in America was that we don’t have a lack of theatre in South Africa, we have a lot to learn from them, but we have a lot to share as well”

According to Breytenbach, the bigger goal is to develop a culture of appreciating theatre within the community.

“Theatre will always be alive, as long as we keep on telling our stories.”

LALT will also be featured in an exciting new television series on VIA that will be on air early in 2019, as recordings will start in October.

Even though the theatre recently moved to new premises in Bartlett, Breytenbach said there are plans to make the location more practical and conducive to the art of theatre.

ALSO READ:

Local theatre coach to mentor and learn in the United STATES

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  AUTHOR
Sunel Gilliland
Journalist

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