Constructed out of Johannesburg’s Indian Fruit Market of 1913, The Market Theatre is one of the city’s monumental cultural institutions. Mannie Manim and the late Barney Simon founded it in 1976 as an independent anti-racist theatre at the height of the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Internationally recognised for housing South Africa’s theatre of the struggle, the Market Theatre cultivated the country’s known history and tradition of protest theatre. It now focuses on contemporary theatre including work that prioritises local languages, the development of new voices and renditions of classic plays.
In addition, the theatre promotes work by local and international playwrights, with recent years paying special focus on African playwrights from the continent and the diaspora. This is a feature introduced by artistic director, James Ngcobo. An example is the annual commemoration of Black History Month with a production boasting an African playwright every February.