The H.B. Thom Theatre : an evaluation of its potential as a regional arts and cultural centre

Esterhuizen, Johan (2005-03)

Thesis (MDram (Drama))—University of Stellenbosch, 2005.


This study wishes primarily to explore re-positioning the H.B.Thom Theatre as a cultural amenity in the Stellenbosch region. The first step was to place the building of the H.B. Thom Theatre in 1966 in the context of the cultural and political dynamics of the time as well as to trace the cultural politics of the Western Cape in particular during the turbulent years leading to the first Democratic Elections in 1994. The question is asked, to what extent do the changes in the political climate and cultural thinking impact on the use of this important, regional arts facility? A Cultural Impact Study was made to evaluate the scope of cultural production in the region. Alongside this regional study, the past and present utilisation of the H.B.Thom Theatre as such has been thoroughly documented, processed and discussed. Areas of concern regarding the utilisation of the theatre in particular and possible solutions in meeting these concerns have been integrated into the study. The appropriate management structures and artistic vision leading to the establishment of the H.B.Thom Theatre as a Regional Arts Centre have been researched and detailed as well as mechanisms for its incorporation into the University of Stellenbosch’s broader Strategic Framework.

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