Windy times for Hillbrow theatre

trouble: WINDYBROW Theatre in Hillbrow. Pic. Dudu Zitha. Unknown.
THE  FAIRLADY FASHION SHOW AT THE  WINDYBROW  THEARTRE ,

PIC DUDU ZITHA
trouble: WINDYBROW Theatre in Hillbrow. Pic. Dudu Zitha. Unknown. THE FAIRLADY FASHION SHOW AT THE WINDYBROW THEARTRE , PIC DUDU ZITHA

THE WINDYBROW Theatre in Hillbrow has again been rocked by controversy and its producer, Zodwa Shongwe, has been placed on indefinite leave.

THE WINDYBROW Theatre in Hillbrow has again been rocked by controversy and its producer, Zodwa Shongwe, has been placed on indefinite leave.

Theatre audience development manager Tshidi Pooe has been dismissed and several playwrights are owed money.

The latest goings-on have put the spotlight on the besieged theatre as it struggles to justify the millions it receives from the government to produce plays that no one wants to see.

Sources have told Sowetan that the theatre, which receives government funding, also stands accused of not producing shows.

For example, this year the theatre managed to host only two shows, Julian Mokoto's Money Maker in August and Ntsieng Mokgoro's Olive Tree in September.

In the latest scandal to rock the controversy prone theatre, Sowetan was told that the suspended Shongwe faces charges of insubordination, while Pooe's dismissal is in connection with alleged financial fraud.

A string of artists face a potentially dry festive season since they are owed money by the institution for services rendered.

Among those owed money are playwright Makgoro for her play Olive Tree, Xoli Norman, Tebogo Mabuya and award-winning dancer Portia Mashigo, who was contracted to host a development programme.

The artists have confirmed that they are owed money but referred questions to Windybrow Theatre MD Vuyo Maphela.

"The problem with Windybrow is that they receive government money and yet they do not produce plays to justify the funds they receive," said outspoken playwright Martin Koboekae.

Maphela confirmed that Shongwe had been suspended pending disciplinary proceedings, but denied that Pooe had been fired.

"Tshidi resigned," he said.

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