The State Theatre has re-defined itself as one of the coolest places of leisure for student communities in the City of Tshwane central business district. In many ways it has found a special space in the memories of many students as a meeting space in between their classes at the many colleges and colleges lined up in the student-populated Stanza Bopape street.
Surrounded by high-rises and the capital’s hustle and bustle, the South African State Theatre in Pretoria is not just devoted to the promotion of the performing arts, but is itself a major drawcard for tourists, thanks to its architectural splendour. Designed by architects Hans and Roelf Botha, the State Theatre in Pretoria was once the largest reception venue of performing arts in the southern hemisphere.
Occupying an entire block in the city centre, the State Theatre consists of five theatres, a large public square embracing pedestrian patronage, restaurants and a coffee shop. More importantly, since staging its first show in 1981, the State Theatre in Pretoria has featured a wide range of productions including opera, ballet, musicals, drama, cabaret and children’s theatre.
Situated in a city known for its spacious performing arts venues, the State Theatre is unrivalled not only by any other dance theatre in Pretoria or any other city in Africa, but can hold its own against the best that the biggest has to offer, including the Sydney Opera House. Its many spacious theatres, nooks, crannies and maze of connecting corridors offer audiences much more than a night of performing art.
A dramatic edifice in itself, going to the State Theatre in the City of Tshwane is an experience that stays with people long after the show’s curtain has come down.
From 28 February 2016 to 20 May 2017, the State Theatre will host the famous Broadway musical, Sarafina.
This proudly South African musical was created in June 1986 and the first performance took place at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg in June 1987, with Leleti Khumalo, who played a major role as a school girl activist, Sarafina. The play portrays students involved in the 1976 Soweto Uprising against apartheid. “This year marks 30 years of Sarafina and 40 years of the Soweto Student Uprisings. The youth is being encouraged to come and be part of the revival of Sarafina”.