HB Thom Theatre - Theatres in Cape Town, South Africa
The very first chair in Drama at a South African University was instituted by Prof. HB Thom in 1961. With Prof. Fred Engelen as head of Drama, this Department was housed in the old Chemistry Department building of the old Victoria College where the old “Dutch” hall of the building was converted into an experimental theatre with 110 seats. At the opening ceremony of the trial theatre Prof. Thom expressed his wish to see a fully fledged university theatre. This was a vision shared by Prof. Engelen, who then launched an intensive campaign for the building of such a theatre. In August 1965, a mere 4 years later, the dream became a reality. The foundations of the HB Thom Theatre were then laid in reinforced concrete.
Appointed as Chief Theatre Technician, Emile Aucamp would hold the position until his untimely death in 1995. Mr Jos Willems retired from being Theatre Manager in the early 1980s. The HB Thom Theatre was opened on 7 October 1966 with the first Afrikaans production of FAUST, under the direction of Prof. Engelen and with Siegfried Mynhardt in the lead role.
The HB Thom Theatre not only presents professional and student productions, but also acts as a host to numerous amateur theatre groups, youth drama destivals, product launches, conferences and important University functions.