The Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa
The Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch, Cape Town is one of the major live theatre venues in Cape Town and has always been at the forefront of the performing arts both as a popular venue and as a leading producer. The Baxter Theatre Centre was born in 1977 when, in terms of the will of the late Dr W. Duncan Baxter, an amount of money was bequeathed to the University of Cape Town for the purposes of establishing a theatre which word, in his own words, “develop and cultivate the arts in Cape Town and the adjacent districts”.
Today the theatre provides an exciting forum for the celebration of life which is the essence of live theatre, music and dance. The theatre endeavours to present and host the best of South African performing arts. The objective is to reflect the cultures of all the people of South Africa on the stages and in the foyers and galleries. The Baxter Theatre strives to present cutting-edge and major works from South Africa and masterpieces from the international repertoire. A vibrant cultural centre developing an interactive relationship with local and university communities is envisaged.
The doors of the theatre open in 1977. On this day, the 1st of August, it came into being. Since then the complex has continued to provide a stage for all types of professional entertainment – music, drama, ballet, opera and intimate theatre. Proudly the doors stayed open to everyone during the difficult years of racial segregation, and the theatre thrived, drawing on indigenous talent and creating a uniquely South African theatre tradition.
In the main theatre there are 666 seats. There is also a concert hall with a fine Von Beckerath organ and seating for 638, as well as the intimate Sanlam Studio Theatre which seats 172. These are all located in one building and are available to hire, thus enabling the Baxter Theatre Centre to be a superb venue for theatrical productions and conferences. The Centre can even play host to various functions, such as weddings (the gardens are perfect for photos), birthdays, product launches and promotions.