History

The Baxter Theatre Centre, designed by Jack Barnett, opened on 1 August 1977. It came into being as the result of a bequest from the late Dr W. Duncan Baxter who, in his will, bequeathed an amount of money to the University of Cape Town for the purpose of establishing a theatre which would, in the words of Dr Baxter, “develop and cultivate the arts in Cape Town and the adjacent districts”.

Since its opening in 1977 the complex has continued to provide a stage for all types of professional entertainment – music, drama, ballet, opera and intimate theatre. We endeavour to present and host the best of South African performing arts. The objective is to reflect the cultures of all the people of South Africa on our stages and in our foyers and galleries. We envisage a vibrant cultural centre developing an interactive relationship with our local and university communities. We strive to present cutting-edge and major works from South Africa and masterpieces from the international repertoire.

Even through the difficult years of racial segregation its doors remained open to everyone and it thrived, drawing on indigenous talent and creating a uniquely South African theatre tradition.