POPArt: Hayleigh Evans, Shoki Mokgapa and Orly Shapiro

POPArt: Hayleigh Evans, Shoki Mokgapa and Orly Shapiro


1. bright idea

Ask anyone who’s in the business and they’ll all agree: Theatre is tough, particularly during periods of down-time. “We experienced it ourselves,” says Hayleigh Evans. “We had an idea for a show, but no theatre to practice or produce it through.

The same is true of many local musicians and other performers.” For an entrepreneur, this just means there’s a gap in the market though — one the founders of POPArt grabbed with both hands.

2. Open platform

Evans was working at Propertuity, the developers of Maboneng precinct who are extremely entrepreneurial themselves. “We were surrounded by the idea that as an entrepreneur you can make things happen. The seed started to grow.

If we couldn’t find good theatre space, what about creating one ourselves? We weren’t alone in the challenges. There were many performers like us out there. We just needed to create the right space.”

3. Getting started

Maboneng had just such a space available, and the founders of POPArt have kept it simple: It’s a big square room. Performers can construct a stage or keep everything at one level. Chairs can be brought in and configured accordingly.

Lights and mirrors are available — it’s an open space waiting for creative minds and talents to fill it. The POPArt crew also lends its expertise to the less polished shows — it’s in everyone’s interest to put together the best performance possible.

4. Creative hub

All three founders have ‘day jobs’ over and above their acting careers, so the revenue generated through POPArt can be pumped back into the business while it grows. “Right now we are concentrating on growing our name.

Performers heard about us pretty quickly, but ultimately we want to be known as the hub for creative, awesome content that is changing the face of theatre in South Africa.

5. Revenue streams

There are three revenue streams for the business. It can be hired out for rehearsals (Die Antwoord use the space for example); for corporate function hire and entertainment bookings; or for shows.

These include theatre productions, comedy evenings and music nights. POPArt splits the door cost with the show, so that everyone carries equal risk — and reward.

Vital stats

Players: Hayleigh Evans, Shoki Mokgapa and Orly Shapiro

Company: POPArt

Launched: 2011

Contact: www.popartcentre.co.za