WELCOME TO POPArt: An independent Johannesburg based theatre, production company and performing arts centre.
POPArt stands for People of Performing Art, and that’s exactly what we are about: providing a platform for the showcasing of some of the freshest work and ideas from some of the hottest emerging and established Performing Arts talents in Johannesburg.

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We started POPArt in March 2011, with the vision to create a new and accessible space for performing arts in Johannesburg: a space where the people of performing art could come together to network, and develop and share ideas.

Years Later, POPArt, has emerged as a premiere performance space in the city that is known for programming edgy content, and for changing the way that Joburg audiences think about live entertainment. In our short history, we have hosted over 250 brand new productions, and were voted by News24.com as #2 on the list of ‘most authentic things to do in Johannesburg’. POPArt was recognised for our contribution to theatre in 2015 with an Arts & Culture Trust ImpACT award.

Our fourth year in show biz saw us begin the journey into creating a production company (POPArt Productions) that specialises in live content production, and we’re committed to bringing you more dynamic programming, more awesome workshops as well as spreading the good word of South African performing arts to the global stage…


POPArt is a Johannesburg Based theatre & production company specialising in the creation, development, showcasing and promotion of new work. Through the production and promotion of quality work, we aim to elevate the global reputation of South African entertainment and entertainers.

Father, Father. Father!



THE TEAM : The POP(t)arts & Emil

POPArt is an owner operated business with a small team & a whole lotta heart

Hayleigh Evans & Orly Shapiro : Co-directors and everything’s

Hayleigh and Orly studied their BA in Performing Arts together at AFDA, graduating in 2006. While Hayleigh went on to complete her BA Hons the following year, Orly set out to travel the globe (which included a work stint at the Edinburgh Festival). Following some years, several odd jobs and further studies by both ladies, the pair reconnected in 2010, where they decided that starting up a space for performing arts would be a whole lot more effective than complaining about the state of the industry… and so POPArt was born.

Both ladies were recognised as Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Females of the Year in 2012, as well as awarded the Arts & Culture Trust impACT award in 2016 & the Naledi Theatre Awards Executive Director’s Award in 2016. Hayleigh was recognised in the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans in 2015.

Emil ‘ArtPunk’ Lars : Venue & Tech Team

Emil joined the POPArt team in 2015 and has since carved himself a special role heading up our on and off site technical units, as well as making sure that everything involving technology works! He is an integral part of the POPArt team, looking after each production that comes through the space…

Zanele  Mthombeni : Venue & Tech Team

Zanele joined the POPArt team in 2019 and has made herself an invaluable member of our tech and FOH team. A performer with an amazing eye for aesthetics, she looks after our productions with care while making sure they look great!

Dintshitile Mashile : Junior Producer

Dee joined the POPArt team shortly after graduating from the Market Theatre Lab at the end of 2019, and has been carving out the role of junior producer ever since. Her key roles are assisting with the marketing and administrative needs that fall under the POPArt scope.

FOH Team :

Our FOH team is made up of friendly, inspired actors and representatives of POPArt who love theatre so much that they show up every week.

Collaborators  :

POPArt collaborates with a number of awesome professionals who are at the top of their game in their specific fields. Instead of growing our in-house team, we believe in empowering people to generate their own sustainable businesses, supported by collaborations.