James Ngcobo joins Joburg City Theatres
Joburg City Theatres (JCT) is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr James Ngcobo as Artistic Director effective 01 July 2022. He will be responsible for developing and implementing an artistic vision for JCT’s 10 spaces at Joburg Theatre, Roodepoort Theatre and Soweto Theatre including the newly refurbished Jabulani Amphitheatre as well as contribute to the City of Joburg’s reputation as one of the country’s most vibrant cultural cities.
James is an award-winning actor who metamorphosed into a multi-award-winning director and has a reputation for artistic excellence. He brings extraordinary experience as a dynamic and respected Artistic Director to Joburg City Theatres with 15 years across various theatre verges. He has worked in theatre, television and film as an actor, producer and director. He became the first black Artistic Director of the Market Theatre Foundation in 2013 where he was previously Associate Artistic Director working with Malcom Purkey from 2006 – 2007.
In his tenure, James in partnership with the US Embassy introduced Black History Month Celebrations to South African audiences and created Jazzy July, Sophie Mgcina Award, Ditshomo Online Productions and Salute the Playwright as part of his vision to broaden an audience base for the Market Theatre.
“We are pleased to welcome James. He brings the experience and expertise to elevate JCT’s offering in continuing to deliver quality performing arts and entertainment productions that are attractive to both traditional and regular theatre goers, but also to new and diverse audiences,” says Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema, Chief Executive Officer.
Ngcobo is acquainted with Joburg City Theatres’ stages and the City of Joburg arts programmes. He was appointed as an Artistic Director for Arts Alive from 2009 – 2011 where he was responsible for the curation of an enriching cultural programme for the residents of Johannesburg as well as ensuring that all genres of performance and music were represented. He featured in Waiting for Godot in 1998 at the then Johannesburg Civic Theatre (now Joburg Theatre) and also worked with Janice Honeyman in many pantomimes. He directed The Suitcase which was staged as the very first production to open the Soweto Theatre doors in 2012. He recently co-produced with the Market Theatre and Roodepoort Theatre an Afrikaans classic play titled Kamphoer in February 2021, a one-woman show with Sandra Prinsloo which won two Naledi Awards in 2022 for Best Original Score / Arrangement / Adaptation and Best Performance in a Solo Production.
Ngcobo is a seasoned Artistic Director with local and international works which include Afrovibes, an international festival in Amsterdam. A co-founder and director of Sibojama an arts company. He directed the award-winning Songs of Migration and managed its tour to Hackney Empire in London; the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC; Artscape in Cape Town; Joburg Theatre in 2013 as well as being a creative director for the 2019 Presidential Inauguration on Africa Day.
His accolades and awards include; Standard Bank Joy of Jazz award for long contribution to the Arts; Best Director for The Suitcase; Best Supporting Actor for Queen Sono; toured The Suitcase in six (6) cities in the United Kingdom and a Canadian tour with Nongogo.
“I have known James for many years and we have worked together on a number of projects. We are excited for him joining the Joburg City Theatres team and to see the fresh energy and ideas that he will come with. The Board is looking forward to a great working relationship with James as we know his work and work ethic throughout the years. May this be a long and fruitful period not only for him but also for Joburg City Theatres”, added Zane Meas, Chairperson of the Joburg City Theatres Board of Directors.