When critics say South African theatre is dead it is sometimes difficult to argue vehemently to the contrary, given the low numbers of people who visit theatres in various parts of the country.
Until, of course, we pause to consider the kind of productions that are being offered by the mainstream theatres.
I know mainstream theatres have to make money by trotting out tried-and-tested productions such as Ain't Misbehavin', Carmen and the like, which always attract audiences.
But what is being done to promote new local productions even if they don't make money immediately?
It is this gap that the productions of Gibson Kente used to fill. Single-handedly he gave us low-budget productions that resonated with the masses of the townships, thus developing, steadily and over a long period of time, people who loved, appreciated and supported theatre.
Those who grew up on Kente are old, and with the passing of the master himself not much has happened to fill that gap of developing new grassroots theatre that hits the spot.
Yes, the Market Theatre has tried to give us new productions that were meant to appeal to a younger generation; here I am talking about productions such as John Ledwaba's My Hole My Home.