It was in the midst of a maelstrom that the word ensemble came to mean much more than the definition found in the pages of a dictionary. The very idea of "a group viewed as a whole rather than individually" was becoming an act of intentionally reclaiming togetherness as a means of facing a very different world. There was an intriguing undercurrent that was gradually emerging: a conscious yearning for connection to one another and, perhaps more importantly, to oneself. I began thinking about the role of the creative arts within this surge of introspection and how the theatre has always been my chosen catalyst for connection. It has been my privilege to educate others on the potential of the theatre to be so much than a place to perform and it was from within this jumble of thoughts that - one day - the fully fledged concept for co|laboratory took hold in my imagination and spilled onto the pages of my journal.
Inspired by a constant reminder that I am where I am today because of the journey I have shared with my own ensemble, co|laboratory aims to be a theatre company which celebrates the very best of the arts by actively pursuing innovation through collaborative practice. We are dedicated to creating opportunities for and with one another - no matter where in the world we call home - in an effort to cultivate those characteristics that have defined our collective experiences within the theatre. Learning. Teaching. Seeking. Experimenting. Exploring. Challenging. Deconstructing. Supporting. Expressing. Empowering. Dreaming. Being part of something more than ourselves. Underpinned by three platforms, each with their own area of focus pertaining to the type of theatre we want to be a part of, co|laboratory is redefining the performing arts on a global stage, and we want you to be a part of that too!
"Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” - Bertolt Brecht
"Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world." - Alan Rickman
Emblazoned across my desktop background and cited in countless conversations about why art matters, Alan Rickman's words have always been a lodestar in my drama classroom. A guiding light that has profoundly influenced the way that I teach others about the arts. You see, I've had a passion for the theatre since I was just 12 years old and performed in my first lead role as Lucy in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. That feeling of stepping out from the wings and soaking in the warmth of the stage lights as you sense the energy of an expectant audience is something few people experience in their lives... but it is a feeling that never leaves you. My devotion to this multidimensional, multilayered industry has been strengthened through my experiences in the classroom and yet it was only within my role as Head of Performing Arts in Durban and Dubai that I began to realise that I also had a duty... one that sometimes goes unnoticed in the relentless drive towards the bureaucratic sort of academic achievement. A duty to shape an educational environment that engaged the performing arts as a system of independent yet interconnected components. It was this feeling of responsibility that took hold until the plans for my very own theatre company began forming in the recesses of my mind. And here I am, almost a decade later, inviting you to join me on this journey... whether you're a student or a teacher, an amateur or a professional, a practitioner or an audience member... there's a place for you to redefine the performing arts on a global stage. Make yourself at home!
“It is not theatre that is indispensable but something quite different. To cross the frontiers between you and me” - Jerzy Grotowski
co|laboratory is made up of three independent but interconnected platforms: creations, classroom and collective. Each has its own unique function but it is the relationship that exists between them that embodies the type of synergy we wish to inspire across our company. As Grotowski reminds us above, it is the innovative potential that exists between us that lies at the heart of this synergy... so lets see where you'd like to start innovating first, shall we?
co|lab creations is our production platform, dedicated to the creation of single-discipline or multi-disciplinary innovations in the arts. The aim of co|lab creations is to provide a space for individuals and companies to work together to generate content locally or internationally- if you have a dream for your own creation, we'll work with you to make it happen!
co|lab classroom is our education platform, dedicated to making teaching, training and tutoring accessible to everyone. The aim of co|lab classroom is to bring together students and teachers, professionals and enthusiasts to explore the potential for a much more holistic educational model by actively engaging in industry knowledge and upskilling. The real question is: what can you contribute to someone else's learning?
co|lab collective is our connection platform, dedicated to bringing together creative individuals, companies and institutions from around the world in meaningful collaborative practice. The aim of co|lab collective is to provide a platform that celebrates the journey of arts practitioners across multiple disciplines who are committed to a code of ethics, cultivating an international support system and an experimental approach to expanding their reach for the advancement of the arts.
Wanna Know More About Us?
Then check us out on Instagram @colab_company!
We post all sorts of interesting content about the performing arts from the local scene to the amazing work happening around the world. You can also direct message us with any queries or suggestions too.