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Lara Foot | Speaker
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New York 2014 ISPA Congress

New York 2014

Lara Foot, speaker (Session 1 | The Art of Business) at the New York 2014 ISPA Congress, January 14-16, 2014, Imagining a New Economy for the Arts. View the full Schedule of Events.

NameLara Foot | Speaker
Baxter Theatre Center
CEO and Artistic Director

Lara Foot is CEO and Artistic Director of the Baxter Theatre Centre and has won a bevy of South African theatre accolades. She has put most of her energy into helping other playwrights and theatre-makers realise their work and she has nurtured several dozen new South African plays to their first staging. This includes producing the international hit Mies Julie written and directed by Yael Farber. 

Since heading up the Baxter Theatre Centre she has transformed the theatre’s development programme - the Zabalaza Theatre Festival - to become recognised and respected as one of the most vital and important platforms of its kind in South Africa. As a former Rolex protégé to Sir Peter Hall, she hosted a unique cultural gathering at the Baxter with Mentors William Kentridge, Wole Soyinka and Peter Sellars alongside seven protégés. 

As a writer and director, her own hard-hitting playstackle social issues and have laid bare the brutality and sickening frequency of child rape in South Africa; Tshepang (2002) was based on a real event, the alleged gang rape of a nine-month-old baby by six men in a remote, impoverished community. Foot used refined, ironic humour to sketch a portrait of the community, and then turned everyday objects into symbols with horrific poetic effect. Karoo Moose (2007) returned to the subject of child rape and a rural town - a shattered, forsaken community where ‘there are no fathers’. A 15-year-old girl is sold for sex to pay off the gambling debts of her jobless and spiritually crushed father, ‘an opportunist with no opportunities’. In Solomon and Marion, Foot explores the cruelty of the meaningless murders which betray her country. Solomon and Marion, Hear and Now, Karoo Moose and Tshepang are published by Oberon Books.

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