Cape Town – The Artscape Theatre Centre celebrated its 50th anniversary on Wednesday, remaining a beloved arts landmark in the city and country.
Formerly known as the Nico Malan theatre, it opened its doors on April 19, 1971. Its name was change to Artscape in 2000.
Current and former staff members were treated to a morning of activities yesterday, including a long-service awards ceremony and performances by Artscape’s associated companies.
A ceremonial unveiling of the EVERYWOMAN Project took place later in the day. Stretching over 7m and in rainbow colours, the textile artwork called the ‘Blessing Blanket ‘ or ‘Singing Skirt' was hand sewn and stitched together by hundreds of women from across Cape Town.
“In 1971, this building was established and was built only for white people,” said Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux.
“Fifty years later and we can really say we've moved out of the dark, out from the shadows, and into the light because this place belongs to every single person.”
As part of celebrations, a costume exhibition portraying unforgettable moments, from Nico to Artscape and for various productions dating back from 1971, will be on display.
The rolling exhibition, located at the Opera House Chandelier Foyer, is open to the public free of charge.
Exhibition curator, Alfred Rietmann said: “We’ve got more than 38 costumes on display. These are from Artscape’s wardrobe department and archives which currently have just over 360 000 costumes.
“We can't put them all on display so we are doing a rolling display through the year. Every two months we will change a couple of costumes to show as many as we can and we wanted to show a variety of costumes from the day that we opened in 1971 to the present day.”