The SA State Theatre opened in 1981. As a non-profit government-funded operation, it housed five theatres, and was one of the largest theatre complexes in Southern Africa at the time. The SA State Theatre has since staged some of the biggest and most popular operas, musicals and ballets. It has also become a hub for artists and theatre lovers in Pretoria.
The Artifacts Gallery
In 2013, the SA State Theatre added another attraction to the bill – the Artifacts Gallery. This display museum showcases some of the theatre’s most prized possessions, including vintage lighting boards and Parcans, costumes, masks, scale models and maps.
The Artifacts Gallery functions as an informative and high quality exhibition space at the SA State Theatre, sharing a vast historical knowledge of a golden age in South African theatre with the public. Visitors may explore the gallery as part of a guided tour of the theatre, which includes the two-storey costume basement and backstage areas.
The Artifacts Gallery pays homage to the State Theatre and its history. It is also a dedicated space to exhibit artworks created and commissioned specially for the Theatre. Some of the best South African artists are featured in this collection, including Cecil Skotnes, David Mbele, JH Pierneef, Walter Battis and Bettie Celliers Barnard. Amateur artists are also welcomed to stage installations at the gallery.
The SA State Theatre artifacts gallery displays intricate theatre sets at model scale, costumes and stage décor. These unique artifacts, sourced directly from the archives of the SA State Theatre, are a treasure to behold. Don’t worry if you don’t know all that much about theatre. A knowledgeable guide will talk you through the history of each of these objects. From the tiniest model chair to the grandest knight’s costume, each artifact has unique stories.
Why should you visit?
The SA State Theatre Artifacts Gallery is open to anyone with an interest in how the theatre came to be what it is today. Here, you can learn about the many triumphs and struggles that the theatre complex has faced since its opening. Plus, you can travel back in time to an era when opera ruled the stage and millinery was an esteemed profession. If you have no idea what millinery is, then you should definitely pay a visit to the gallery!
The artifacts gallery is a wonderful place to visit with school groups, teenagers and friends with a keen interest in history. While the tour is relatively short, there are a number of great shows on stage which you can catch afterwards. Or, stop by the theatre restaurant for lunch with the family.
What’s On Stage
The Twins Get Lost
The Twins Get Lost follows siblings, Lesedi and Bothlale, who live with their mother in the village, Thusanang. The twins’ mother always warns them about playing too far from home, especially when it’s dark, as there are wild and dangerous animals on the prowl. The action kicks off as the twins play with their friends. Suddenly, a butterfly flutters in, distracting them from their game. Lesedi and Bothlala follow the butterfly until it disappears. The two then realise that all of their friends have disappeared as well and that they are lost!
Roaming around the forest, frightened and alone, the twins encounter both good and bad animals in their quest to return back to their village. They are reminded that their mother had always told them what their names meant and how they should use them. Will the twins remember the meaning of their names and find the strength to return home?
Adapted and directed by Galeboe Moabi.
When Is It?
Wednesday, 02 October 2019 – Friday, 18 October 2019.
Where Is It?
The Rendezvous Theatre, SA State Theatre, 320 Pretorius Street, Pretoria, 0002.
How Much Is It?
Tickets cost R100 per person. Get yours here!
For more information
Visit the SA State Theatre website for more information about this show and the Artifacts Gallery. You can also follow them on social media to stay up to date with the latest news and events:
Facebook – facebook.com/SouthAfricanStateTheatre
Twitter – twitter.com/sastatetheatre
Instagram – instagram.com/sastatetheatre
Contact the theatre on 012 392 4000 or via email at [email protected]