Affectionately known as South Africa’s ‘Fame’ school for the Performing Arts, The Waterfront Theatre College in Cape Town has established an unparalleled reputation for training the so called ‘triple threat’ performer.
Johannesburg learners interested in obtaining a tertiary qualification in the Performing Arts, now have a unique opportunity to audition for the school when Delia Sainsbury and Paul Griffiths will be holding auditions for 2019 enrolment in Johannesburg on Saturday, 22 September at Redhill School from 11am to 2pm.
Founded in 1992 by SABC’s ‘Golden Girl’ Delia Sainsbury and husband Keith Galloway, the Waterfront Theatre College celebrates a 26-year track record of excellence. ‘ In the words of Stephen Sondheim: “Good times and bad times, I’ve seen them all and my dear, I’m still here!” laughs Delia, who shows no signs of slowing down after nearly 40 years in the business.
Delia continues; “Keith and I came to South Africa in 1978 with a touring production of West Side Story. We fell in love with South Africa and decided to stay and call it home. People thought we were crazy. We had been working in the West End for many years and moving to South Africa seemed to some like professional suicide but we believed strongly it was the place for us. The rest, as they say, is history”.
“The irony is I had no intentions of ever teaching but South Africa Immigration would only give us work visas if we agreed to teach. Reluctantly we agreed and started The Dance Workshop in Johannesburg. We provided the odd class to professionals wanting to brush up their skills but very soon our classes were in demand and we expanded The Dance Workshop to create The Waybury ArtsCentre, a full time educational programme in the performing arts.
We ran The Waybury Arts Centre until relocating to Cape Town in 1992, at the invitation of the newly developed V&A Waterfront, to set up a school for the Performing Arts in Cape Town. We have been here ever since!”
Keith passed away 8 years ago, but Delia remains at the head of The Waterfront Theatre College to this day. “Today I enjoy the title of MD and my partner Paul Griffiths and daughter Genna Galloway take care of the day to day details. I have the freedom of playing golf if I want to”, laughs Delia. “Not that I ever would! My life is in the college. The students are my kids!”
For many it is a surprise that Delia runs a Performing Arts college, remembering her as a permanent fixture on South African TV screens. “I’m an avid-multi tasker” quips Delia, adding “unless I have 100 things going on at once, I’m bored”.
The Waterfront Theatre College schedule confirms this: apart from a full timetable from 9am to 4:30pm every day, the college also operates a part-time schedule from 3.30pm onwards during the week and on Saturdays for school learners.
In addition to this schedule, the college also offers a range of extra mural activities providing opportunities for students to perform on campus and in outside venues like Artscape – these extra curricular activities include One Act Play Festivals, Choreographic Competitions, Musical Theatre Productions, Dance Shows, Devised Drama Projects and Part Time Productions.
“The Performing Arts World is a vibrant and busy Industry. Survival in ‘the game’ requires an individual to juggle a range of projects at one time. As a vocational training institution it is our responsibility to present a schedule which closely mirrors the demands of the industry”, states Delia.
“When students graduate from our programme they are equipped: they have a versatile toolbox of skills that can be applied to any number of performance opportunities. It is why our graduates do very well.
We enable them to transition smoothly into the Industry with a firm foundation of technical ability and enough work experience to ensure they know how to do the job in a wide range of contexts. Most of our extra mural activities take place in professional venues and we provide an internal casting agency that helps to give students external work opportunities whilst studying without interrupting the routine of study.
These work opportunities include parts in Film, TV, Corporates and other events. Graduates are helped to transition in to the industry through the established network of contacts that we have ensuring that most Graduates are able to leave with a clear sense of where they are going and how they are going to get there. We help to guide students into making sustainable career choices across a range of platforms including Dance Companies, Musicals, Plays, Film, TV, Cruise Lines, Recording Contracts and the list goes on. ”
The performing arts industry is often perceived as an industry with limited opportunity. “This is nonsense”, argues Delia. ‘”The industry presents a number of opportunities to those who possess the skill set to do the job. Our industry is more robust than it has been in years with South African artists able to enjoy employment opportunities both locally and abroad. The key is versatility and level of excellence”. Two things Delia is passionate about.
“There are various options to learn one’s skills in this country but prospective learners must be vigilant in ensuring the course of study pursues excellence and offers you a wide range of skills. Don’t put your eggs into ‘one performance style’ basket”, Delia warns.
The Waterfront Theatre College is one of the few remaining institutes in South Africa where one can study more that one aspect of the performing arts under one roof. “Our specifically designed curriculum balances training in Dance, Drama and Singing ensuring that our students are viable in a wide range of performance genres.
Our students can also study teaching in Dance, Drama and Singing at the same time. This furthers their professional viability as they can attain qualifications in both performance and teaching. We have a number of students who step into teaching and enjoy International Teaching careers thanks to our International Accreditation”.
The Waterfront Theatre College is affiliated to Trinity Guildhall in London and The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance. These examining bodies accredit the course and ensure that all graduates have the potential for global work opportunities. Through these affiliations the college maintains a connection to global training standards in the performing arts and is equal to international standards of excellence.
The Waterfront Theatre College, situated at the entrance to the famous V&A Waterfront District in Cape Town, consists of 11 studios, 2 performance spaces including the 80 seater Galloway Theatre named after Keith and the larger 175 seater theatre; The Lane. The campus also includes a number of costume stores and set building facilities. It has a residence which currently homes 22 students per year.
The school boasts many illustrious alumni who began their entertainment careers at The Waterfront Theatre College, including; Ian Von Memerty, Angela Kilian, Taryn Lamb, Leah Van Niekerk, Chantal Herman, Germandt Geldenhuys, Trix Vivier and many others.
There is a staff of 17 internationally qualified teachers and guest teachers, each with extensive performing experience in their field.
“The Waterfront Theatre College motto ‘Higher’ is what inspires us,” concludes Delia. “The Performing Arts offers wonderful opportunities for those determined to push themselves to be the best they can be. We are confident our programme provides the skill set to achieve one’s potential in a learning environment that is as close an experience to the real world as possible”.
The Waterfront Theatre College will be holding auditions for 2019 enrolment in Johannesburg on Saturday 22 September at Redhill School in Morningside, Sandton from 11 to 2pm.
Anyone interested in a career in the performing arts and wishing to audition for The Waternfront Theatre College, contact them on 021 418 4600 or email Mary Martin on firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an audition.
This is an OPEN audition call BUT you will need to book an audition spot ahead of time; you won’t be seen if you just arrive at the audition without a scheduled audition time.
For more information on the courses provided by the Cape Town based College, log onto www.
Information and Images Courtesy of the The Colab Network .