Montecasino Gives A Leg Up To Community Talent
The Born To Perform SHINE! stage production – an incredible, uplifting show that gives talented young artists the opportunity to shine – is taking place at the Teatro at Montecasino this year, giving an award-winning stage to 450 children who will literally put their hearts and souls into delivering the performance of their lives.
Selected from auditions that were open to schools throughout Johannesburg, the young performers from Fourways High School, Mondeor High School, Curro Aurora Sundowner and New Generation Pantsula Dancers from Alexandra, are undergoing gruelling vocal, dance and acting training by veterans of the performing arts, Gemma and Matthew Marinus. Born To Perform was founded in 2015 by Gemma and Matthew as a platform to give young performers opportunities and experiences in the arts working alongside seasoned professionals, whilst allowing self-development and personal growth through the love and passion for various performing arts.
The collaboration with Montecasino to bring Born To Perform SHINE! to the Teatro stage was a natural fit for Gauteng’s premier entertainment destination. “Given the opportunity to be involved in an initiative that complements our philosophy of community involvement and supporting the performing arts, we didn’t hesitate,” says Mike Page, Operations Director and General Manager of Montecasino.
Since 2007 when the Teatro opened with Disney’s The Lion King, Montecasino has played a pivotal role in contributing to the development of talent in South Africa. Providing a world-class theatre in a safe and vibrant entertainment precinct has given local and international producers a financially viable platform to bring the likes of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela, The Parlotones, Annie Lennox, The Sound of Music, Dream Girls and Jersey Boys, to life. The benefits resulting from Tsogo Sun Gaming’s investment into the performing arts have been far-reaching, contributing to the development of young talent, both on stage and behind-the-scenes.
At the same time, Montecasino’s support of the arts over the last 12 years has included life-changing opportunities for children from Diepsloot to watch ballet, dance, world-class musicals and more at the Teatro. There have also been many opportunities for young people from Diepsloot to be exposed to the arts through outreach programmes, giving them the once-in-a-lifetime chance to interact with and learn from world class performers. Montecasino is also a partner to AMANDLA EduFootball to fund a Safe-Hub for the children of the community that provides them with a haven and programmes that include life skills, talent identification, education and leadership.
In addition to its involvement with the children of Diepsloot, Montecasino is an active and involved member of the Fourways community. “We are proud to have contributed to many initiatives that improve the lives of our neighbours in Fourways, such as our sponsorship of improvements to Kingfisher Park, donations to fund the requirements for students in need of assistance from Fourways High, contributing towards measures aimed at improving the safety and security of Fourways residents on the roads – and the list will continue to grow. We are exceptionally proud that our collaboration with Born To Perform has opened up the opportunity for 28 Fourways High pupils to be exposed to an initiative that could prove to be life-changing for them. We look forward to watching our young stars from Fourways develop their talents over the coming months, and ultimately shine on the Teatro stage, come September.”
One of the most heartwarming performances of the night will undoubtedly be a number by St Vincent’s School for the Deaf. “By virtue of the Teatro’s Opticon system for the hearing impaired, we are very excited to be making a special performance accessible for the deaf community, which will include an on-stage signer. There are specific seats within the Teatro that offer this facility and we are taking bookings directly to the Teatro Box Office for hearing-impaired guests for this performance, which takes place at 15h00 on Saturday 14 September.”
Page continues, “The Born To Perform initiative is exactly what we at Montecasino believe in. It’s about passion and commitment to arts and entertainment. It’s about inspiring young people to pursue their passion and providing them with the tools to get there. It’s about involvement in our immediate community – in this case with the children of Fourways High whose talent has brought them to the attention of the Born To Perform producers. It’s about learning and education, which is a cornerstone of our Citizenship programmes. And it’s about giving Joburg another reason to come to the theatre, this time for a jaw-dropping display of young talent in a world-class production,” concludes Page.
SHINE! 2019 is on stage for four shows only at The Teatro at Montecasino on Friday 13 September at 20h00, Saturday 14 September at 15h00 and 20h00 and Sunday 15 September 2019 at 15h00. Tickets range from R180 – R320 and can be booked online through Computicket.