POPArt awarded 2015 ImpACT Award for Theatre

The Famous Idea Trading Company
11/03/2015 17:00:34

ACT has named independent theatre, production company and performing arts centre POPArt as the recipient of the 2015 ImpACT Award for Theatre.

POPArt is located in Maboneng Precinct, in downtown Johannesburg and run by Hayleigh Evans & Orly Shapiro. The theatre opened in March 2011 and has since showcased over 100 brand new theatre works since its establishment.

This year POPArt launched POPArt productions, which produces in-house cutting edge works. Hayleigh and Orly both studied acting at AFDA and work in the performing arts industry as practising professionals. Having started POPArt space over 3 years ago, the duo has made a significant impact within Johannesburg’s theatre industry.

The space has played a vital role in audience development by exposing a variety of new customers to the theatre. Through the company’s production division, POPArt now plays a more active role in audience development and content creation. By creating new and relevant content based on a growing audience demographic, the space is now actively providing sustainable employment for performers, while developing audience bases.

The company’s vision is to create, develop, showcase and promote new content and through the production and promotion of quality work the team comprising of co-directors Hayleigh and Orly, and venue manager and technician Kwame Sibeko - the team aims to elevate the global reputation of South African entertainment and entertainers.

“Being involved in the South African Theatre industry in this era is an opportunity to really help shape and mould the future of South African theatre and create a new South African cultural identity. It is a privilege that Hayleigh and I get to work with the amazing practitioners and it feels like a true honour to be recognised for the contribution that POPArt has made. We will strive to keep impacting this dynamic industry with freshness, flexibility, creativity and gusto,” says Orly.

Hayleigh says the duo is honoured to be recognised in this forum and that they “believe that the South African theatre industry is at the dawn of an exciting new era and this exciting accolade is further incentive for us to push harder and be more innovative in our field. We owe this award to the so many wonderful people we have worked with over the years, and to those who trusted us enough right from the very beginning.”

The 2015 ImpACT Awards are presented in partnership with the Distell Foundation and Sun International. The ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented in partnership with Nedbank Arts Affinity, Media24 Books, DALRO, JTI, Creative Feel Magazine and SAMRO.

Each winner will receive a cash prize of R2 000, a certificate, a spread in Creative Feel Magazine worth over R30 000 and additional PR opportunities that will be generated through the ACT Awards. ImpACT Award recipients will also get ongoing backing from ACT in the form promotional support in their professional careers.

Other ImpACT Award Winners include: Letlhogonolo Nche, Jessica Denyschen, Benon Lutaaya, Lindiwe Maxolo and Laurie Wiid van Heerden.

For more information about the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) please visit


About the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT)

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the amount of funding available for arts and culture initiatives, and to apply these funds to innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured funding programmes, ACT provides support for all expressions of arts and culture, including literature, music, visual art, theatre and dance, and the support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education and arts administration. Follow ACT on Twitter at!/actorgza or like the Trust’s Facebook page at

About the Distell Foundation

Distell, one of South Africa’s premier producers of fine wines, spirits and ready to drink alcoholic beverages, has actively been supporting CSI (Corporate Social Investment) projects in communities where they have a business interest. Support is given through the Distell Foundation, by focusing on the development of the creative arts sector, especially emerging talent in the performing and visual arts. A big focus area of the foundation is the support of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) prevention initiatives as well as youth development programmes which lead to individuals making healthy choices in life. Remedial art therapy programmes are also supported to assist vulnerable individuals who are affected by alcohol misuse. Other focus areas include Education, Skills Development (life skills and hard skills), Job Creation, and Environmental Conservation. For more information please visit

About Sun International

The Sun International Group has a diverse portfolio of assets including world class five star hotels, modern and well located casinos, and some of the world’s premier resorts. Their destinations offer experiential luxury, enduring quality and incredible adventure, supported by an authentic dedication to personal service. Their approach has been to differentiate their hotels, resorts and casinos in architecture, service, experience, location and the mix of entertainment and activities. Creating lasting memories for their guests and customers is a core part of their DNA. They’ve created some the world’s most iconic hotels ranging from The Royal Livingstone Hotel at Victoria Falls, to The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City and The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town. They place a strong emphasis on being responsible corporate citizens through their contributions and commitment to the economy, communities and the environment. They are committed to the development of all their employees and they make sure that equal opportunities and economic empowerment form the backbone of their human resource practices.

About Nedbank Arts Affinity

The Nedbank Arts Affinity is a proud supporter of the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT). Since the inception of ACT in 1994, Nedbank has raised and distributed nearly R15 million through our Arts Affinity Programme, in support of more than 800 South African arts, culture and heritage development projects, at no cost to our clients. To open a Nedbank Arts Affinity account please visit any Nedbank branch or call 0860 555 111. For more information please visit

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO)

Established in 1962, with the key objective to protect the intellectual property of its composer, songwriter, and publisher members, the organisation’s primary focus is to administer the various music rights of Copyright on behalf of writer and publisher members. The collecting society, as it is known, is mainly concerned with the collection of license fees for the use of its members’ musical works by various music users, the distribution of royalties to these members, and the promotion of Copyright law. For more information, please visit

The Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Organisation (DALRO)

DALRO is a multi-purpose copyright society that collects royalties for the use of copyright-protected works on behalf of authors and publishers, which it then distributes back to the correct copyright-owner. As a custodian of copyright and the protection of rightsholders’ works, DALRO’s main areas of administration are reprographic reproduction rights (photocopying from published editions), public performance rights (including stage rights for book musicals and dramas) and reproduction rights (whether for publishing or copying) in works of visual art. For more information please visit

About Media24 Books

Media24 Books is a division of Media24 and forms part of the Naspers group of companies. It comprises the trade publishers NB Publishers and Jonathan Ball Publishers, the schools publishing group Via Afrika Education, the higher education publisher Van Schaik Publishers and the book club business Leserskring/Leisure Books.

About Japan Tobacco International (JTI)

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) firmly believes in the fundamental role that arts and culture play in the development of a country and in the growth of local communities. The company’s commitment to culture is in fact part of its corporate values. Over the years, JTI has set itself apart through its special commitment to supporting cultural heritage projects in the countries where it operates.

A particular long term focus puts ethics at the core of JTI’s corporate citizenship – in all our business practices and dealings, is our committed approach to sustainability both within and without our organization, and in the partnerships into which we enter with our customers, shareholders, employees, wider society and, importantly, the communities in which we operate.

JTI supports many cultural institutions across the globe, from world famous arts and culture organisations such as the Louvre Museum, the Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi Theatre and the Mariinsky Theatre, the Museo Nacional del Prado, the British Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts to hundreds of lesser-known local arts organisations and activities. JTI is and will remain a true and committed supporter of the arts to ensure that they continue to flourish in all the countries in which we operate.

JTI is a member of the Japan Tobacco Group of Companies (JT), a leading international tobacco product manufacturer. Headquartered in Geneva, JTI operates in 120 countries and has over 26,000 employees. For more information, please visit our website at

About Creative Feel Magazine

Creative Feel Magazine is an award winning monthly arts and culture magazine that brings the best in classical and jazz music, dance, visual arts, film and theatre, as well as food and travel, to its readers. The magazine is dedicated to promoting arts and culture in South Africa. Creative Feel Magazine has garnered many prestigious awards, including the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) Awards, as well as SAPPI PICA Award for excellence in publishing and the coveted BASA (Business and Arts in South Africa) Award.

About Business and Arts South Africa (BASA)

Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) is an internationally recognised South African development agency with a suite of integrated programmes implemented nationally and internationally. Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) encourages mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts, contributing to corporate success and securing the future development of the arts sector in South Africa. Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative of the Department of Arts and Culture and the business sector as a public/private partnership @basa_news on Twitter. Account:
Gilly Hemphill
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The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT)