Wits Theatre has experienced a transformation, if any of you recall the faculty & the theatre of Wits, like I do, it was one of academic bliss but something lacked in its soul. But things changed when the University of Witwatersrand appointed well-known theatre personality Gitanjali Pather, as the Director of the Wits Theatre.
Over the years, Ms Pather has conceptualised and produced hundreds of theatrical productions, big events, concerts and festivals in SA and abroad.
Gita, created the first South African Women’s Arts Festivals now in its 17th year in Durban and JHB, the first Arts Administration training programmes and helped establish the Transnet Travelling theatre trucks in 1994.
A passionate cultural activist, her work within arts development and education has allowed her to impact on arts policy and cultural development both in South Africa and countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mauritius and Tanzania. She is known for her groundbreaking programmes that have had a formative influence in shaping the post -1994 arts landscape and transforming the institutions that she has worked within.
A longstanding newspaper columnist, writer and published poet, she has a BA Honours (Drama & English) from University of Durban Westville and a diploma in Change Management (Professional School of Psychology- UCLA).
Ms Pather has a distinguished career spanning the professional performing arts, education, television, advertising and marketing arenas. She has accumulated 28 years’ consummate experience in both the creative and executive fields, having served in a number of major performing arts institutions in SA including Head of Education and Development, Director of Operations and Acting CEO of The Playhouse Company, Chief Operating Officer of the Market Theatre and General Manager of the Windybrow Centre for the Arts.
Gita has won numerous awards including the Four Outstanding Young South Africans Award, the Post Independent Young Achiever Award and the International Soroptimist Award for the Development of the Arts.
Her appointment as Director of the Wits Theatre brings together her greatest passions: the performing arts and education. Asked about her appointment, she said:
“A theatre within a leading university like Wits has a great responsibility to both its students and society at large. The arts both reflect and challenge the status quo and in these exciting, yet troubled times, the value of a university theatre cannot be underestimated. I would like to see the theatre become known as an arts place/space for experimentation, multi-disciplinary performance, applied creative research and for diverse views and voices. “
Find out more of whats happening at Wits Theatre: http://www.wits.ac.za/witstheatre