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Maynardville Open Air Theatre

Maynardville Open Air Theatre

The first production "The Taming of the Shrew" at Maynardville in 1956 ran to packed houses for weeks, and thus the legend of this theatre was born. Two well know actresses from the 1950s, Cecelia Sonnenberg and Rene Ahrenson, came up with the idea of converting a small park area in Wynberg into an open air theatre. Through contacts in the municipality and a lot of homework, they eventually had a stage erected and a raked auditorium. The contacted a British director Leslie French to come out to South Africa and direct and act in their first production, a production that almost never happened had it not been for his persistence and optimism.

Most famous for the annual Shakespeare-in-the-Park, the theatre has become one of the top outdoor theatre venues in the country. The theatre is set in a wooded park, with a 500 square meter pre-production area just for picnics and relaxing, and a 720 seat wooded theatre. The Theatre has had an average of 20000 patrons per year over the last 50 plus years, a large percentage of them being scholars from schools in the Cape region, but also stretching as far away as Heidelberg

Today the Maynardville Theatre Trust and Artscape control and run the theatre, and can be contacted for more information.
Contact Details
Maynardville c/o Artscape
Email: artscape@artscape.co.za
Publicity email: linette@design-pr.co.za

Website: www.maynardville.co.za

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