National Women’s Day was first celebrated in South Africa on August 9th 1994, in commemoration of the twenty thousand women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956 to petition against the Country’s pass laws.  The subsequent concept of Women’s Month each August is a tribute to the pioneers of the women’s movement.

Around the world, many women continue to remain on the margins of society and are vulnerable to social risks such as violence, abuse, unemployment and poverty.  These issues are currently being highlighted by such international movements as #MeToo, which spread virally in October 2017.

The smash hit, multi-award-winning musical The Color Purple addresses the vital importance of female empowerment through the eyes of its protagonist, Celie; a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world.  

Following the unanimously acclaimed South African premier of the musical directed by Janice Honeyman at Joburg Theatre earlier this year, the decision by producers Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay to bring the joyously empowering show back to The Mandela stage for Women’s Month became a ‘no-brainer’.

In a bid to ensure that the production is accessible to disadvantaged schools, girl orphanage homes and girl learners, Joburg Theatre calls upon all corporates to sponsor tickets for special daytime performances of The Color Purple on Wednesday August 8th at 13h00, Tuesday August 14th at 11h00, Wednesday August 15th at 11h00, Thursday August 16th at 13h00 and Thursday August 23rd at 13h00.  Tickets for this initiative are only R100 and, in return, Joburg Theatre will match all the secured sponsorships by providing a snack pack for the learners for each ticket bought.  These performances are aimed at youngsters aged 13 years and older.

“It makes me very proud to know that the musical version of The Color Purple has finally arrived on stage in South Africa,” says global superstar, producer of the show on Broadway and leading female rights advocate Oprah Winfrey. “Your country has a rich history of women who have demonstrated immense strength and courage in the face of adversity.  Women played an integral role in the struggle for equal rights during apartheid and women continue the fight for equality today.”

Corporates are invited to make their pledge towards sponsored tickets by calling Justine Lipson at Joburg Theatre on (011) 877 6831.

The Color Purple, with book by Marsha Norman, based on the 1983 novel by Alice Walker, and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, returns to Joburg Theatre from August 7th to September 2nd 2018.  It is presented in association with MNET, 702, BONA and RADA.

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