Talent garden

Anton Luiting and Duane Alexander at the launch of LAMTA.

When Camps Bay’s Theatre on the Bay reopens, it will not only be showcasing talent, but also helping to develop it.

The theatre closed on Saturday April 21, for renovations which are expected to continue for four months (“Brief curtain close”, Atlantic Sun, April 19).

Among the changes at the venue will be the inclusion of the Luiting Alexander Musical Theatre Academy (LAMTA) which was launched at the beginning of April and will be based at Theatre on the Bay.

Musical theatre industry luminaries Duane Alexander and Anton Luiting launched the academy with the support and endorsement of theatre impresario and owner of Theatre on the Bay, Pieter Toerien.

The academy aims to train performers to master what they call the “triple threat” – the ability to sing, dance and act.

Mr Luiting and Mr Alexander are passionate about this and in 2010, established the Musical Theatre Workshop to provide a triple-threat training to children from as young as five years old.

“We have had the privilege and pleasure of working on a number of International ‘blockbuster’ musicals in the past 17 years and so we’ve experienced first-hand what the requirement is to be a part of today’s musical theatre industry. We hope to impart what we’ve learnt from the incredible directors, choreographers, musical directors, designers and technicians to a new generation of performers,” said Mr Luiting.

LAMTA graduates will leave the academy with training led by the cream of the crop in their respective fields, as well as skills in arts administration and theatre technology that will enable them to be not only performers, but “art-entrepreneurs” who can manage successful careers and work in a number of theatre and arts-related fields.

“Being a ‘triple-threat’ performer is not just important, it is essential. Equal ability in all three major theatrical disciplines is first prize as it increases one’s employment opportunities, but even having one exceptional strength and above-average skill in the other two disciplines makes one a viable commodity and highly employable,” said Mr Alexander.

Mr Luiting and Mr Alexander have already put together what they describe as an “A-Team” of lecturers but there will also be guest lecturers who will share their expertise.

Nationwide auditions for entry into LAMTA will take place in June. Only 24 students (12 men and 12 women) will be accepted for the 2019 intake.

“Having had the privilege of travelling the world on many big international productions, we’ve come to the realisation that Cape Town is without a doubt one of the most exciting and remarkable cities in the world. We are so grateful to Mr Toerien for his support and endorsement and we are honoured to be continuing his legacy and contribution to the South African industry,” said Mr Luiting.