Theatre to launch digital platform

Siya Mayola and Desmond Dube in Master Harold... And the Boys. The Fugard Theatres recent production of the play can be streamed on their website. Picture: Claude Barnado

The Fugard Theatre will soon be launching a new digital platform called The Fugard at Home through its website.

The theatre, on the corner of Caledon and Buitenkant streets, District Six, has been closed since March 16 due to the threat of Covid-19, the restrictions on public gatherings, and the subsequent national lockdown.

“The Fugard at Home will present engaging and compelling content on an online portal that champions the arts and once again connects our loyal Fugard audiences and artists in a meaningful way,” says Lamees Albertus, the theatre’s general manager and producer.

“These unprecedented times have been particularly challenging for everyone in South Africa, including people working in the creative and arts sector,” says Albertus.

“We have explored every possible opportunity to present our scheduled season as originally planned, but with the current level of uncertainty regarding when we will be allowed to operate again, we have had to make the tough decision to cancel all productions for 2020.

“The health and well-being of our theatre community, audiences, actors, creative teams, and staff remain our foremost priority. By cancelling this year’s season we are taking the necessary steps to protect those who visit and work at The Fugard from the risk of infection, as well as help mitigate the spread of the virus in the Western Cape.

“Greg Karvellas, our artistic director, and I, alongside the passionate Fugard Theatre team,
are working hard to finalise the details of The Fugard at Home digital platform and we look forward to sharing them very soon,” says Albertus.

“The Fugard at Home digital platform we are developing will never replace the magic of live theatre, nor change the artistic vision of The Fugard, but rather it will offer access to artists and audiences online and continue to find ways to champion theatre and the arts,” says Karvellas.

“Theatre has always evolved and adapted during challenging times and been a beacon of hope. Our digital portal aims to do the same.”

The Fugard Theatre Box Office will be contacting patrons who have already booked tickets for productions this year, and offer them a full refund, or the option to donate the cost of their tickets to the theatre.

The Fugard Theatre’s recent 10th anniversary production of Athol Fugard’s “Master Harold” And The Boys can be streamed on the theatre’s website for free until Wednesday May 20 but you need to be a Friend of The Fugard and can sign up online at
www.thefugard.com