When we announced the LION KING in Johannesburg in 2006 I said, “We have some fine actors in SA, but simply not enough”. Today, 12 years later nothing has changed. We still don’t have nearly enough expertly trained actors for the exciting productions that are happening in our country.
So I am especially delighted to tell you that as we mark Theatre On The Bay’s 30th birthday that The Luitingh Alexander Musical Theatre Academy will open at our Theatre on January 21 next year. Anton Luitingh and Duane Alexander are incredibly experienced and remarkably talented and passionate about the theatre. For the last 18 years, they have been working towards this exciting moment and are now ready to give back all that they have learnt. Theatre has been at the centre of their lives since they were teenagers and students will be enriched by their knowledge, experience and vision. I have the utmost faith that they and their team of carefully chosen lecturers will shape future generations of actors.
Anton and Duane have worked on all the major musicals of the last 15 years and will continue to be involved in future productions. As a result, their classes will be supplemented by discussions, masterclasses and lectures by the visiting creative teams coming to SA to stage big musicals. Students will be able to learn from some of the theatre’s finest practitioners. The Luitingh Alexander Musical Theatre Academy will be housed on a separate floor on top of the Theatre On The Bay. Students will study in a working theatre, rubbing shoulders with the leading actors of the day and be able to watch them at close quarters. From them, they will see what acting can and should be. The theatre is a playground for the imagination and it enriches the lives of those of us lucky to be part of it.
During their courses, every student will experience working front of house with members of the public, working backstage and finally on our stage.
I hope that every student at the Luitingh Alexander Musical Theatre Academy will leave with their lives enriched, knowing all that theatre can be.