Proposed by

Clare Butcher


Cape Town

About the project

From the inception of Magnet Theatre in the 1980s, the SA context has been steeped in a culture of violence where the body has become a marked site. The particular nature of violence imposed by colonialism and apartheid was one that impacted on the ability to move and these restrictions were predicated on the socially constructed notion of race that is embedded in the body. Our work is concerned with this violated body, a body threatened, its mobility challenged, facing erasure, subject to oppression, to racial categorization and embattled through immersion in systematically violent social and political landscapes. If the body is the site where violence makes its mark then it could also be possible to offset this marking with creation (Scarry). Magnet training develops strong articulate moving bodies challenging the immobility and weakness imposed by fear/death and counteracting the unsharable nature of pain. Creative play is used as a tool for the revelation of the subjective identity of the body. Central to ongoing training and performance is a focus on transformation – engaging with the possibilities of change and therefore liberation, unsettling fixities and encouraging tolerance. Magnet has a pyramid structure of educational and performance processes aimed at addressing social, educational and economic immobility. 1st Tier: Cape Town Township Culture Gangs (150 – 200 youth) Cederberg Farm Schools/ Clanwilliam Arts Project (700 – 1000 youth, 25 educators) 2nd tier: 2-year Fulltime Training and Job Creation Program (20 18 – 35 yr olds in every 2 yr Cycle). 3rd tier: Exit points furthering tertiary study; professional employment at Magnet as performers, teachers, facilitators, directors; participation in the creative economy; creation of income generating projects.

Magnet Theatre happens in Cape Town, Cape Town townships, and Cederberg municipality.


About the artist

Award-winning Magnet Theatre has been operating in SA for 31 years. Focusing on the language of the body we create innovative inspirational performance events and educational processes aimed at the transformation of people, attitudes, ideas, and spaces. We have created over 35 new SA productions that reflect our context and have been recognized nationally and internationally for their excellence. We are dedicated to using theatre to address high levels of youth unemployment and impact of poverty