Bethesda Arts Centre


You ate dust on the winding Karoo roads getting to the beautiful dorp of Nieu Bethesda? You visited Miss Helen's Owl House? Now just around the corner from the Owl House is a fascinating stop - the Bethesda Arts Centre. Here you will receive a warm welcome and a full tour. Catch a rehearsal or a starlit performance in the open air theatre.

The Courtyard Theatre began its life in 2002 with a play from a visiting company about domestic abuse. The play, Behind Closed Doors, was followed by an animated discussion. The theatre was officially opened in January 2003 with a live reading of new work by Athol Fugard. After two successful productions – The Rainbull and The Conference of Birds – playing to packed houses in the Centre’s own Courtyard Theatre, the Bethesda Theatre Company was established.

They have performed at the Grahamstown Festival as well as at various schools and nearby theatres. Members of the Company are encouraged to learn all facets of theatre, including writing, directing, theatre design and stage management.

The Gallery
A conversation between Kudus, San dancers around the fire, the extraordinary mass of rock that forms the gateway to Nieu Bethesda – the artists from the Bethesda Arts Centre are as varied and individual in subject matter as they are in style.

From Hartlief’s striking animal prints to Booysen’s linear, timeless landscapes or Swiers’s spirited snapshots of daily life, each of these artists has captured something of the parched land and dusty Karoo town of Nieu Bethesda. In all of these upcoming artists, despite their varying age and experience, is a feeling of Africa, in all its richness and variety, and a sense of their place within it.

Centre artists can exhibit and sell their work in the Centre’s own gallery. Income from sale of art goes directly to the artists, in many cases making it possible for them to support their families.

Where can I stay? Dive under the quilts in the magical Bethesda Tower Accommodation.

Bethesda Arts Centre Map

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*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling distance.

from R350
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