International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Developing and Promoting Puppetry in South Africa: The Role of Arts Festivals
Marie Kruger

When state support for the arts drained away after 1994, theatre in South Africa became a freelance industry and arts festivals proliferated. In the absence of permanent puppet theatres and with few theatre houses which present puppet shows on a regular basis, arts festivals with predominantly adult festival goers became a prominent showcase and developing ground for puppetry. Arts festivals are event-driven platforms which are popular because of their unique features, their ability to focus consumers’ attention by presenting some extraordinary cultural experiences, their newsworthiness and the higher demand for artistic experiences than non-festival performances. A number of the arts festivals in South Africa have exposed the art form in such a way that creativity and experimentation with a multifaceted mode of expression were stimulated. Arts festivals as attentiondrawing events have also won some puppet artists much needed recognition in a competitive industry.

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