This theatre complex is the cultural center of the University of Stellenbosch. The theatre was established in 1965 by the then rector, Prof. H.B. Thom, and renamed to honour the legacy of the struggle poet, Adam Small. Since its early days the theatre has been an incubating environment for dramaturgs and actors, from all walks of life, both local and abroad.
The Adam Small Theatre Complex was renovated and now boasts world-class theatre and conferencing facilities. For more information about the Adam Small Theatre Complex venues, or booking, click here…
The long history of the Adam Small Theatre Complex begins in 1961 when the first chair in Drama at a South African university was instituted by Prof. H. B. Thom. The old “Dutch” hall of the building was converted into a 110-seat experimental theatre and was housed in the old Chemistry Department building of the, then, Victoria College. At the opening ceremony Prof. Thom expressed a wish for a fully-fledged university theatre to be built. An intensive campaign for the construction of a theatre was launched and, four years later, realised when the H.B. Thom Theatre foundations were laid.
Notable figures have moulded the legacy of the Theatre Complex from its early inception: Emile Aucamp was appointed as Chief Theatre Technician – a position he would hold until his passing in 1995.
On 7 October, 1966, the H.B. Thom Theatre was opened in style with the first Afrikaans production of FAUST, under the direction of Prof. Engelen, and with Siegfried Mynhardt in the lead role. Since then, the stage at the Adam Small Theatre Complex has be shared by South African greats.
The building that supports the theatre complex and the US Drama department underwent extensive renovation, and reopened in 2018.