Who are we?

The Hillbrow Theatre (formerly the Andre Huguenot Theatre) offers after-school performance arts programmes to children and youth who live in Hillbrow or attend schools in Hillbrow and the inner city of Johannesburg. Performance training gives children confidence and builds the skills of public speaking, voice and acting.

Play is the work of children, and through play, acting and singing, children work through issues that they have to face on a daily basis. Drama demands empathy for different personalities, cultures, religions and ways of living, and allows children to learn and practice the skills of self-discipline, communication, tolerance and mutual respect.

Life in the inner city can expose people to xenophobia, landlord exploitation, drug abuse and violence and the Hillbrow Theatre Project provides a safe space where children and youth can explore these issues through plays and storytelling. The drama workshops give children and youth the opportunity to develop their communication skills, self-confidence, teamwork skills and to unleash their imagination. Through the process of making these plays, children explore and dramatise creative solutions.

A high point on our annual calendar is the Inner City High Schools Drama Festival, which was initiated by the facilitators in 2005.

The Hillbrow Theatre Project facilitators run drama workshops at inner-city schools with groups of learners between the ages of 12 and 19 years. Also, there are two open drama classes which are conducted in the afternoons and on Saturday mornings at the theatre.

What we do:

Throughout the year, our facilitators conduct after-school performance arts programmes for school-going children and youth. These drama workshops are held at local inner-city high schools, and in the afternoons on Saturday mornings in the fun, creative haven of the Hillbrow Theatre.

The Hillbrow Theatre Project provides performing arts training coupled with a commitment, from both the team and participants, to build self-confidence, teamwork, communication and empathetic skills; and keep this corner of Hillbrow vibrant and active. The local and international teachers strive to provide quality theatre training that enriches lives and develops emotional resilience.

The youth (ages 12 – 19) who attend the theatre programme (weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings) learn traditional performing arts skills, including vocal, dance, physical and drama training, driven by the need for inner-city youths to find and plot positive life journeys. The training is designed to develop empathy: for yourself, your colleagues, other cultures, religions and ways of living.

  • We develop and present at least two original works (drama or dance) at four outside festivals or events;
  • We aim to develop and present an Easter play;
  • We stage a year-end production;
  • We run drama groups in 32 inner-city schools for approximately 480 youth;
  • We run a drama festival for 35 inner-city high schools;
  • We facilitate each high school group to present a new work at the Inner City High Schools Drama Festival;
  • We enable participants of the Hillbrow Theatre groups to attend at least eight arts events in Johannesburg; and
  • We enable facilitators to grow their artistic skills and reputations,
    attend workshops, cultural events, and collaborate with local and international artists/arts organisations.

Here are some of our events/performances:

  • Sounds Like You and Me
  • A manifesto for the youth of Hillbrow
  • My silence is talkative
  • March for awareness of the plight of Albinism in South Africa
  • Hillbrow youth perform in Berlin
  • Outreach Foundation is part of Joziwalks
  • Hillbrowfication
  • In my mother’s  womb

Read Our Story

Our Goals

We strive to:

Build self-confidence

Develop creativity

Promote teamwork

Increase communication and empathetic skills

Our Team:

Thabang Phakathi

-Project Coordinator

Gcebile Dlamini


Sibusiso Hadebe


Mirriam Gumada

-General Assistant

Linda Mkhwanazi


Rudo Mudekunye

-General Assistant

Gerard Bester

-Programme Manager

On Our Blog:

ASSITEJ South Africa


News from Bologna!

Thank you to Zibusiso Brian, Outreach Foundation alumni – you continue to inspire!
Thank you to Constanza Macras for inspiring this collaboration!

Hillbrowfication is production by Constanza Macras | Dorkypark and the Outreach Foundation. In co-production with Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin and with the support of Goethe-Institut. Funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.


Drama Recap