Alexandra Arts Academy access the month of May with a jam-packed line up of programmes, projects and festivity. AAA credits itself as one of the leading Arts Academies within the local community in the creative industry. The Academy upholds its social responsibility to give access to meritorious artistic skill transfer, and professional arts distribution to the immediate community, even extending these efforts to the global market.

We are looking forward to the work that we do with various companies, government departments, universities and organizations with whom we partner. The partnerships help us to compliment what is already on offer for our students,thereby opening them up to a wide range of opportunities which they may otherwise have not had access to. We welcome all the institutions to the Academy, and we are grateful for their contribution to the work that we do. The Academy since its inception has always been about community development through the arts and all our partnerships are towards that.

Industrial Theatre

AAA creates tailor-made theatre productions for corporate, government and other arts incorporating organisations. Our industrial theatre is tailor-made according to the clients’ needs and is based on the brief provided. We perform in schools, prisons, community centres, public spaces, churches, taxi ranks, conference centres and theatres; and this is always within the Covid-19 regulations. Based on a client’s brief, we conceptualise, write scripts, cast actors, direct plays and create presentations for clients prior to any public performances.

This project is led by the Alex Theatre Company, which is an arm of the Academy that consists of our first ever cohort of full-time students who enrolled in performing arts. The Academy takes pride in its education programme which was implemented through the training completed by our first batch of students in the year 2020. The theatre company at AAA has already presented works in festivals, and recently produced a tailor-made play for clients such as SANCA and ABInbev. The company is working on two exciting projects which entail conceptualizing, creating, and rehearsing of plays and site-specific work for presentation to the clients. We are looking forward to sharing these two exciting productions once the work is completed and approved by clients. The theatre company is always ready to take on briefs and promises a production that meets the needs and exact interests of our clientele and costumers.

Keep the Dream Arts

Keep the Dream Arts works under the broad theme of SiyafundisaNa? It questions the strategies around teaching/learning/facilitating. The organisation is collaborating and working with five facilitators from the Alex Arts Academy in holding and presenting workshops. After going through training, the five facilitators will conduct workshops with more than 50 participants who will be shared amongst the facilitators for collaborative work in smaller groups. Anticipation for this program is rife, with one of our staff members, Avril Mkansiexcitedly declaring that collaboration with Keep the Dream Arts is going to be a life changing experience that will benefit her approach to her craft.

KTDA will facilitate a creative and interactive educational programme within the physical space at AAA with live participants in accordance with the Covid-19 restrictions. They will create a platform for facilitators of arts-based activities to engage in a shared learning experience that addresses the pertinent themes that youth in South Africa are grappling with. KTDA has further partnered with the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP), to use artworks in the museum as a starting point to elect content for the students to create their own journey towards performances and for the art works to act as a pretext. The 2021 themes for learners include: Rituals of Self-Preservation, Dreamscapes, Constructions of Masculinities, language and Abstraction. There will be a showcase at the end of this process where learners will do performances based on the project themes and process on the 6th of August in Alexandra at Alexsan Resource Centre.

“In 2020, nationally and internationally, we were faced with the pandemic crisis of Covid-19. During this time teachers and facilitators had to negotiate space, understand working with online techniques, being isolated and learning how to facilitate. The programmes we had last year as Keep the Dream Arts (KTDA) engaged with 30 facilitators to learn online facilitation, working with different themes, inclusive of mental health. We found that our strength lied in the online engagement with facilitators, the guest speakers, as well as the reflection sessions we hosted. However, because we too were trying to put our feet on the ground, we found that there was little creativity and no engagements with learners.” These are the words of PulengPlessie who is the one of the founders of Keep the Dream Arts.

“Alex Arts Academy is again at the centre of providing a multidimensional approach to learning by partnering with like-minded organizations in projects that capacitate our educators and students.  I am confident that there would be a significant shift in our students and staff at the end of this trajectory. We thank Keep the Dream Arts for this opportunity through the collaboration, ” Moses RasekeleD, Managing Director Alex Arts Academy affirmed.

University of Johannesburg’s Art Therapy Programme at Alex Arts Academy

Alex Arts Academy would like to take this opportunity and welcome University of Johannesburg to the Academy. The University of Johannesburg’s Art Therapy programme placed three Bachelor of Art Honours Art Therapy (BA Hons AT) scholars at the academy. The three Honours students have embarked on a creative process that encompasses visual art, drama, music and dance.

 

This is a partnership in its second year, and we are excited about the processes taking place currently in the form of workshops. Our Alex Theatre Company is benefiting greatly through the process, workshops, and intervention with the University. We are looking forward to the presentation which will be showcased on the 5th of June 2021 at Alexsan Resource Centre.

University of Johannesburg  is developing programmes that steer away from traditional academic research towards an approach that emphasizes participation with communities.

The idea behind this is that students engage with institutions within various communities on research projects. This research is initiated by the participants themselves, therefore elevating it in terms of validity and relevance. There is also an emphasis on equipping and empowering various stakeholders with the necessary resources and materials in order to run similar programmes going forward.

 

We are working towards an experiential production on the 5th of June 2021, where we hope to showcase the sessions. The students are also required to compile a reflective essay for UJ that speaks of the learning that takes place academically and personally as well as in terms of our community experiences. Whilst expressing this  in the written word seems somewhat abstract and quite a challenge to articulate, we invite you to come and witness the showcase for yourselvesas actions really do speak louder than words.

“We are very privileged to have great community partnerships that enhance and support the students’ learning experience,” says drama therapist and community practice lecturer, Rozanne Myburgh.

Books and Computer Drive

Alex Arts Academy needs you! We are on a drive to collect books and computers for our community of students. We are in the process of creating a computer lab and a library for our community of students and we are asking you to donate towards that course. This is important for growth and development of our more than 200 students.

Through our experience and research, Alex Arts Academy has realized a need for a computer and books laboratory or centre that will cater for our students. This will assist our students to be able to do research, write assignments, watch educational videos, access books and be part of globalization.

University of the Witwatersrand Drama for Life’s Mvuso Project

Mvuso comes to Alexandra after ten years to share its methodology with participants from Alex Arts Academy, SANCA and Thusong Youth Centre. The facilitation will be led by Moses Rasekele D who has been part of the project for the past ten years as a drama facilitator. The project will see the three sites having workshops that will culminate in performances and presentation on the same day with audiences walking through Alexandra from one site to the other as a story telling journey, witnessing stories told by teenagers, held with care through the applied theatre and theatre making tools.

Alex Arts Academy is excited about this project and we are looking forward to our part-time students going through the Mvuso methodology. This will also be a first for Moses Rasekele D who is also the managing director of Alex Arts Academy, working with students in a creative space outside the office and administrative and operation work that he holds at the academy.

“I am thrilled to engage with Alex Arts Academy students in a different capacity, I am looking forward to working with them; share stories, create stories, hold stories and travel a creative community journey together.” asserts Moses Rasekele D.

The Drama for Life Mvuso School and Community Education Project is one of Drama for Life’s flagship projects, with great success in fostering collaboration between teachers and community artists in the face of extraordinary psychosocial challenges. The project has trained over 300 teachers and community artists who have collectively worked with hundreds of adolescents throughout its 10-year run. We have seen adolescents grow in confidence by being given the opportunity to voice their opinion whilst working alongside their peers and facilitators in dynamic, negotiated and transformative ways.

University of Witwatersrand Cultural Entrepreneurship Traineeship

Tshepo Rapola, an honours student from the department of Cultural Policy and Management joins the administration team for his traineeship in cultural entrepreneurship. He is tasked with using our platform to practice his course content and do his practice with the part-time programme; Children’s Theatre and Youth Theatre. He is tasked with assessing the strategic management of the academy and draft a strategic analysis for a potential structure.

He is an aspiring Theatre Entrepreneur and Researcher. His area of research is South African performing arts Choreology, Cultural Policy Research and the documentation of South African Contemporary Dance history.He is a firm believer of African Theatre and South African Theatre Education.

He choreographed his first work, titled Enigma at the FNBDance Umbrella “Stepping Stones” in 2013.Tshepo performed Ntshieng Mokgoro’s (Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner)Phases of Mira at the Olive Theatre in 2014. He then worked with Alexandra Youth in

Action Ensemble and choreographed an award-winning work titled Women’s

Liberation directed by Bongani Dlamini. Tshepo is currently busy with his Honors in Cultural Policy and Management at WitsUniversity, after successfully completing his Bachelor of Technology degree inPerforming Arts and Choreography at The Tshwane University of Technology. There he was trained in ballet, tap, jazz, African Contemporary and modern contemporary.

Redeployment Cultural.

Redeployment Cultural is a Youth Development Non-Profit Company (YDNPC), which has been in existence for five years but was officially registered in 2018. Redeployment Cultural has been proudly funded by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) on a current project that they are busy with called ‘JUKSKEI RESCUE DRAMATIST’.

 

The project consists of the cleaning of the Jukskei River and raising an awareness on the impact and consequences of people throwing waste in the river which is one of the largest contributing factors of the eutrophication problems affecting the Haartbeespoort Dam further downstream.

 

A play will also be presented in June and July 2021 with the assistance of five Alex Arts Academy students about rescuing, raising awareness and dramatizing the issue of waste management and cleaning our spaces

Alex Theatre Company

Alex Theatre Company consists of our first batch of students who are professional actors for the company. They perform in-house productions, industrial theatre and touring productions, tour festivals and grace theatres. The theatre company attends festivals presenting plays commissioned by Alex Arts Academy. One of the main focuses of the theatre company is industrial theatre, which we use as a tool to disseminate information and catalyse dialogue for communication, awareness, campaigns and advocacy in the work environment.

“I am excited for our students who are now part of what we call the Alex Arts Company, it shows growth for both our students and the academy, ” says Archie Matsetela (Head of Dance Department, AAA)

The theatre company is currently in the process of creating productions for two clients and we are looking forward to the final product. They are also working with University of Johannesburg’s Art Therapy programme’s Bachelor of Art Honours Art Therapy (BA Hons AT), in the process and they will present the final product on the 5th of June 2020 in Alexandra at Alex Arts Academy. Five of the theatre company members are working with Redeployment Cultural creating a play on clean environment. Recently three of the theatre company members worked with Tshedza Media as actors shooting awareness documentaries on Gender Based Violence.

Current Affairs Theatre Festival

Following hugely successful first instalment of Current Affairs Theatre Festival in 2020, Alex Arts Academy will be hosting the second annual Current Affairs Theatre Festival. Known for tackling current affairs, in its first instalment, the festival focused on Covid-19, with ten thought-provoking productions that reflected on the pandemic. This year the festival will be taking place during youth month to commemorate 45 years of June 16. The focus of the festival will be on the youth under the theme  “Youth in Conversation”. The festival will create a platform for what the youth in 1976 did which was to express themselves and be heard.

The festival is growing exponentially this year and we will be having 15 youth theatre groups from all the five regions of Gauteng with each region sending three plays to the festival. “Youth in Conversation” as a theme using the arts, allows the youth to tackle current issues. The festival will allow them through theatre productions to express themselves and be heard. The voice of the youth is important in society as witnessed by the youth of 1976 when they propelled the country forward. Taking a look at protest theatre which was important for exposing South African Apartheid regime on stage to the nation and to the world, it is important to avail this theatre medium to the youth so that they can reflect, share stories, dialogue, critically engage and be heard.

Current Affairs Theatre Festival has in 2020 attracted media attention from Sowetan newspaper, Daily Sun newspaper, SABC Thobela FM radio, Alex FM radio, the African Theatre Magazine online publication, Alex news online publication, City Life Arts online publication and a convincing social media presence throughout the festival build-up, during the festival and post the festival. The festival will create economic movement for the community of Alexandra as it will involve all regions of the province coming to Alex, and when it comes to audience we have proved with the last festival that we can attract audiences from Alexandra and beyond.

We call on artist and groups from the five corridors to apply to be part of the festival by sending a proposal that includes the following; synopsis, genre, play duration, number of actors and artist profile to amatsetela@yahoo.com

Part-Time Performing Arts Programme

Acting, Dance, and Music

Youth Theatre Programme

The Part-time Youth Programme allows for us to have greater reach and for arts education to be accessible. This programme prepares the students for a career in the arts and caters for a wide range of individuals: those who want to find themselves in the arts, those who want a glimpse of the arts, those who want foundation in the arts, and those who want a bridge course and introduction to the arts. The part-time performing arts programme offers acting, dance and music and classes are on Saturdays from 08:00 to 17:00.

Children’s Theatre Programme

Theatre-Making, Dance, Music, Acting, Puppetry, Comedy

The Children’s Theatre Programme is a response to the need in making the arts accessible from a young age. We are aware that the arts unlock an abundance of skills that go beyond training actors, as it also helps to develop artists and arts practitioners who will be able to work in different fields, situations and careers, it further offers different qualities that even those who go into different career paths can still use such as people dynamics, team work, public speaking, creativity, innovation, confidence and problem solving.

We are also working on building a culture of arts consumption and this journey of educating children from a young age is a journey towards that. We aim to educate artists who will grow in the arts so they may have a greater and impactful contribution in the creative economy. We are also aware that different careers and sectors need the qualities found in the arts such as creativity, innovativeness, public speaking, oration, reflective abilities, and ensemble work. The children’s theatre classes are on Saturdays from 09:00 until 13:00. On offer are music, dance, acting, play making, puppetry and comedy for children.

About Alex Arts Academy

Alex Arts Academy was founded in 2018 by leading industry practitioner, Mpho J. Molepo, who partnered with various practitioners in the creative industries. One of the greatest feats about this partnership is that all the stakeholders came from Alexandra and have been exposed to both formal and informal educational programmes in their respective journeys in the arts. The intention behind establishing the Academy lies on the bedrock of being inherently concerned with giving back to the community of Alexandra and creating a centre of excellence, while bridging the gap between formal and informal creative training programmes.

In light of this, Alex Arts Academy has been very meticulous about ensuring that the education on the arts industry is easily accessible to the community. This has been achieved by situating the Academy at Alexsan Resource Centre, which is positioned right in the heart of Alexandra. With its multifaceted programmes, the Academy offers Performing Arts Studies including Dance, Music, Drama, Technical Studies, Arts Management and Film.

Our blueprint is to ensure that meaningful education and intervention happens to the betterment of our youth. The Academy has attained a lot since it was established. It boasts hosting successful events such as conferences, festivals, and educational programmes for full-time and part-time students and industrial theatre.

The Academy has a team of highly-qualified, well-travelled, versatile, experienced, and award-winning educators, drama facilitators, performers, directors, actors, writers, producers and arts managers, respectively.

In the past two years, the Academy has proven its capability through its educational programmes and projects. We designed and held a full-time programme, and part-time; Youth Theatre Class and Children’s Theatre Class. We held Conferences and Workshops; executed our first instalment of Current Affairs Theatre Festival in 2020, which was a huge success. We presented with precision our second annual showcase and took our students on multiple excursions to educational and creative spaces such as the Market Theatre, State Theatre, Joburg Theatre, National School of the Arts and University of Pretoria’s Javett Art Centre. These educational excursions are important to the development of our students as they complement our class educational programmes.

We take pride in all the programmes that we offer and the impact that they have on our beneficiaries; be it students, audience, partners, parents, community, clients and other stakeholders. We strive on development through the arts.

 

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