STAND Projects

TAKING A STAND Theatre and Dance Vision Project

Concept: STAND Foundation will devise a comprehensive Vision for contemporary South African Theatre and Dance with concrete ideas as a basis for advocacy and inclusion in government policy and strategy, but also to guide the work of STAND itself as well as stakeholders in the sector.

Status: Draft Discussion Document has been created and is being circulated for endorsements.  See “Resources” to access the document.

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STAND UP for WOMEN Comedy Project

Concept: In the context of GBV, the call is made for new women stand-up comedians i.e. those who have not yet been on public platforms and/or who have not yet earned income as stand-up comedians.  The project is open to women aged 18-45.  They will be required to submit a script of three-pages of their own writing, and a three-minute video of them performing some of the script to a mobile phone camera.  Seven will be selected from the entries received, each to work with a mentor over 4 weeks, honing a 12-15 minute stand-up comedy segment.  At the end of the mentoring process, at least five of the seven will be selected for an online STAND show and/or for tours of festivals/theatres/venues.  In the absence of venues being open, the comediennes will perform online, with tickets sold.

Status: Call for applications to be launched on 1 September 2020

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STAND OUT Bafana Republic and Other Satires

Concept: Two competitions to market Bafana Republic and Other Satires published by Wits University Press, one aimed at professional actors aged 18-40, and the other aimed at high school learners.  Interested actors are invited to select a sketch from the publication and to rehearse and perform it to a mobile phone camera, post it on their own Facebook page, as well as to a page for the purpose of the competition.  A panel of judges selects the ten best-performed/interpreted sketches, and these are presented to the public for judging.  The judges make a selection of the top three, and the audience votes for their top three.

The winning sketches win prizes (three selected by judges and one audience winner) are used to market the book.

Teachers who teach drama are encouraged to purchase the book and to invite their learners to select and perform one of the sketches.  They upload it on their respective pages, and to the competition page.  A panel of judges comprising teachers selects the ten best sketches, and then the top three.  The public is invited to make a selection too.

The winning sketches win prizes (3 selected by judges and one by the audience) and are used further to market the book.

Status: MVG Productions and Lunchbox Theatre are in the process of launching this project.

STAND - Projects & Events

STAND BY Mental Wellness Project

Concept: STAND to forge partnerships with various mental wellness and coaching institutions and individuals to provide mental and emotional well-being services to those working in the dance and theatre sectors.  This information is to be posted on our website, and to be part of regular newsletters distributed to our dance and theatre database.  Relationships are to be formed with coaches able to provide services nationally, and a mental wellness project/agency in Gauteng and a mental agency in the Western Cape, both of which may be able to offer services nationally.  STAND will subsidise the costs of such services up to a certain number of hours.

Support groups: Drama/dance therapy trained individuals running support groups for 4-6 people, with such groups meeting on a fortnightly basis.  STAND to facilitate such groups.

Status: In the process of being set up.


Concept: This project aims to provide regular – at least weekly – check-ins for retired dance and theatre people through online Zoom sessions.  Essentially, the project is to pay for three service providers in the North (Gauteng, North West and Limpopo), East (KZN, Mpumalanga and Free State) and South (W. Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape) to have Zoom to be able to organise and host such networking/check in/support sessions.

Status: In discussion with potential partners.

STAND - Projects & Events

COVID-19 and its impact on theatre and dance: Lessons and insights from around the globe

This session will deal not only with the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic on theatre and dance, but also its aesthetic consequences.  We are brought up to believe the uniqueness of theatre and dance lies in the live, real-time encounter between the performers and the audience.  With theatre and dance not having live, real-time audiences, what has been the impact on theatre and dance aesthetics that could have lasting consequences?

One night STAND



Making new arguments for theatre and dance in our contemporary world

Other than a few notable exceptions, the arts are generally marginalised in most societies; when faced with a pandemic, it is even more so the case as they are regarded as a luxury in the light of more urgent needs.  In recent times, the case for the arts has been made mainly in economic terms – the policy emphasis on the creative and cultural industries is about the arts making a contribution to the GDP and to job creation, but has the pandemic and other contemporary issues e.g. the global anti-racist movement, created an environment in which the arts – and theatre and dance in particular – require different arguments for their contemporary relevance and importance?


Are festivals still necessary and relevant in today’s world?

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the cancellation of many festivals around the world.  In their place, theatre and dance – and even festivals - have taken to the digital world.  Are festivals as we knew them still relevant?  What are the major challenges to festivals in our contemporary world?  How should festivals shift to remain relevant to the issues that confront us, and will confront us, in the future?


International cultural relations, cultural diplomacy and the role of theatre and dance in contemporary conditions.

International cultural relations have historically been shaped by global inequalities in the distribution of political, economic, military and cultural power.  Those with resources – generally countries and practitioners in the global north – have generally been able to initiate and support international cultural collaborations and relations.  With a lengthy period of international travel being banned, how have international cultural relations been impacted and reshaped, if at all?  Or, how should we redo international cultural relations in the light of our recent experiences?

Status: To be offered monthly after the launch of the STAND Foundation on 1 September.

Having a leg to STAND on

Choreographic mentorships

Concept: 3 young choreographers selected through the Jomba Dance Festival to be mentored by 3 experienced choreographers over a 3 month period in this pilot project. Status: In the course of being finalised.

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Concept: An online, weeklong (or a programme that begins in this week) upskilling programme comprising 15-25 courses and 4 masterclasses.  The courses – 1-5 sessions each, will include:

Writing for the screen (aimed at playwrights)

Writing plays for children

Writing plays for young adults

Writing plays

Writing critically about theatre

Writing critically about dance

Theatre for Development

Theatre for Education

Industrial Theatre

Theatre for Education

Using social media and technology to create theatre

Using social media and technology to create dance

Monetising theatre and dance through social media

Acting for camera

Preparing for auditions and agents

Budgeting for theatre and dance

Fundraising for independent productions

Introduction to directing

Introduction to choreography

Getting one’s plays published

Marketing theatre and dance

Touring locally

Touring internationally

Current Dance and Theatre policy

One-person shows

Remuneration within the dance and theatre sector

Masterclasses: Interviews/sessions with 2-3 highly experienced locals and internationals

Directing / Choreography / Writing / Acting

Status: Planned for 28 September to 3 October, in association with the Royal Netherlands Embassy


Concept: The basic idea is to fund one arts journalist in the north and one in the south with a regular stipend to write about theatre and dance in their respective regions. (There is a desperate dearth of critical writing about theatre and dance).

Status: Funds are being raised for this project.

STAND - Projects & Events


Concept: STAND offers a variety of live shows, customised or already-existing shows, or activities related to the performing arts, which the public can purchase as gifts to celebrate anniversaries.  These can include a short five minute sketch, a stand-up comedy piece, a reading from a play, a poem written and read for the person, a lunch/dinner with a performer, a photo opportunity with someone whom the ‘giftee’ admires, etc.

Status: Artists being invited to submit gift ideas.

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