Spotlight: I am a Theatre Woman, Hear Me Roar - Inspirational tales from the stage

Women’s Day is all about celebrating strong and dynamic women. Two women in the theatre industry that definitely fits that bill is Tandi Buchan and Penny Youngleson. These ladies inspire us by their sheer motivation and go-getter attitude with which they approach everything they do.


Tandi is currently the amazing Artistic Director of Improguise. Improv is so much more than just acting, it is actually improv(e) as it gives those who practice it a new way improved way of looking at life from various perspectives, as well as the added bonus of great confidence, which can be used not only on but also off stage. Sharing this vision, Tandi has led many an improv workshop at schools, festivals and even at businesses she has definitely left her motivational mark. As such, she is actually an artistic director of life.


Similar to Tandi, Penny is also a trendsetter to the max. Creating plays that speak of real usage people struggle with every day (drugs, gangsterism, teenage pregnancy, rape) she, along with her Rust-cooperative partner Philip Rademeyer, is using theatre as a vehicle to make people sit up and take notice of the world around them. One could even say she is part of the driving force of social awakening through theatre.


Seeing as Penny and Tandi have shown us how to appreciate the true power of theatre, we thought we would ask them who the creative women are who inspire them.


Penny is inspired by ... Jaqueline Dommisse


"Jaqueline is a vast and risky woman who is as passionate in her work in advocacy and enabling others as she is in her creative visions. She is, simultaneously, inspiring role model and loving peer; and goes out of her way to promote other people's work. That, I think, is the sort of person (gender irrelevant) that is worthy of every accolade - to be excellent is an achievement ... but to be that AND kind, in this industry, is astonishing."



Tand is inspired by ... Megan Furniss


"Megan was and is my inspiration, mentor and my first biggest fan way back in 1995. I cannot say enough about this trailblazing, generous, firestarting theatre goddess. She is a prolific actress, director, theatre maker, improviser extraordinaire, writer, facilitator, teacher, friend and on a personaI level a godmother ... the list is endless. I wrote a poem for her once and here is a tiny glimpse, a few lines of those less than adequate words to describe one of Cape Towns most underated commodoties...

'A formidable cyclone

Of energy


A fire

A child

A house with no roof...'

I vote Megan ... all the way!!"



Thank you, Penny and Tandi, for showing us that the theatrical space can be a supportive, moving space where female creatives can empower and motivate each other to succeed, not just through their art but as individuals too. We look forward to seeing others follow your leads. See you at a Cape Town theatre soon!




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