BY BILLY SUTER
EXCITING news for South African theatre – the Luitingh Alexander Musical Theatre Academy (LAMTA), a full-time tertiary academy for the performing arts, especially geared for training ‘triple-threat’ performers for a career in musical theatre, opens in Cape Town on January 21, 2019.
Even better news is that auditions are now being held countrywide and those for Durban have been scheduled for June 19 at Crawford College, 79 Armstrong Avenue, La Lucia.
LAMTA is the ‘baby’ of theatre professionals and award-winners Duane Alexander and Anton Luitingh, who, in April, announced the academy with the support and endorsement of theatre impresario, Pieter Toerien, who has been instrumental in the development of LAMTA.
A new additional floor on top of the beautiful Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay will be the home of LAMTA. Renovations to the theatre began in April and the school will open its doors to its first intake of students on January 21, says Alexander.
Luitingh and Alexander are both performing artists who have worked on many international and local productions. For the majority of their performing careers, they have also been the resident creative team on these productions, working as the resident director and choreographer.
Pieter Toerien says: “’Theatre has been at the centre of Anton and Duane’s lives since they were teenagers, and students will be enriched by their knowledge, experience and vision.
He adds: “I have the utmost faith that they and their team of carefully chosen lecturers will shape future generations of actors”.
Duane and Anton established the Musical Theatre Workshop in 2010 to provide ‘triple-threat’ (singing, acting and dancing) training to children from as young as five, with the aim of uplifting the skill-set of children in this age group, gearing them up for participation in professional productions such as The Sound of Music, Annie, Evita and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, among others.
LAMTA was developed to take this training to a vocational level with aspiring performers who have finished high school. It is a conservatory-style institution with guest lecturers and teachers who give classes, workshops and masterclasses in their field of expertise.
As a result, LAMTA students are exposed to a multitude of methods, styles and disciplines which all promote a more diverse training and a better all-rounded performer.
LAMTA also has a core faculty of lecturers who provide the backbone of the training on offer. Classes in Acting, Improvisation, Vocal Classes, Singing Technique, Vocal Repertoire, Jazz, Ballet, Horton, Acting Theory, Accent coaching, and Voice work all form part of the staple curriculum.
In addition, students receive regular lectures in basic Arts Administration, Theatre Technology and Design, and Show Studies.
Alexander says: “A LAMTA graduate will be someone who is reliable, professional, multi-skilled, multi-talented, well-prepared and well-trained. This is our guarantee to the industry and to every student who comes through our doors.”
LAMTA’s new home on top of the Theatre on the Bay will have six studios totalling more than 400 square-meters of floor space, not to mention the advantage of the intimate 350-seater theatre which hosts world-class professional theatre productions all year round.
This will give LAMTA students the unique opportunity to not only engage with professional actors and performers on a regular basis but they will also be able to work in the theatre in a number of capacities including, box office staff, front of house staff, ushers, stage managers, dressers, lighting, sound, and follow spot operators.
This will help the students develop a deep respect for their craft and for all the collaborators that make the magical world of theatre possible.
Students gain entry to LAMTA on an audition basis only, and space is limited to 12 males and 12 females per year. A full prospectus and audition information can be attained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org