Joburg Theatre opens up stage to newcomers to showcase their work and make some money
Shelton Forbez, one of the foremost South African R&B and soul musicians, is ploughing back into the music industry by helping upcoming musicians.
Forbez (29) is providing a platform to upcoming musicians to expose their work through the Joburg Theatre’s Youth and Community Development Programme (known as Space.com). In 2012, the theatre gave Forbez a platform to refine his musical skills, host live shows and compose new music on the same stage he started on.
Since then, the programme has helped him improve his music and understanding of the business side of music. “The Joburg Theatre’s Youth and Community Development Programme has given me a platform to organise shows and book artists. This has taught me what it takes to put together a show. I have also learnt about sound management for stage,” says Forbez.
Forbez has decided to transfer his skills to other artists. He says upcoming musicians such as Young Tyrant, Kgale and SK, from the Tshwane Gospel Choir, improved their live performance abilities after working with him.
The young musician also invites recording label executives to scout for talent during his shows. “The theatre is a platform that enabled me to succeed as an artist. I am also doing the same for upcoming artists,” he says.
The Joburg Theatre Youth and Community Development Programme offers aspirant artists a chance to showcase their work and create an income, says Joburg Theatre Spokesperson Bongani Maseko.
“The venue hosts plays, stand-up comedy, poetry, dance and music. The Space.com Theatre allows for greater access to theatre and embraces new talent and promotes active participation by disadvantaged communities in the performing arts,” Maseko says.
The theatre also runs a three-year Applied Performing Arts and Arts Management programme, in partnership with Wits University’s Drama for Life.
The programme celebrates and promotes South Africa’s cultural diversity through educating audiences about different cultures, says Ma-seko.
At the moment the programme has five community theatre groups working to improve their craft through the theatre.
-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.