KickstArt Theatre is a registered Non Profit Company dedicated to enriching the cultural landscape of Durban.

About KickstArt Theatre Productions

KickstArt Theatre Productions NPC is a non-profit company dedicated to offering eThekwini’s citizens world-class theatre experiences at accessible prices.  It is also the premier independent employer of theatrical talents in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Our History

Founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Greg King, KickstArt embarked on its journey with Ben Elton’s “Popcorn,” setting the stage for years to come. With the addition of Steven Stead as Executive Director in 2003, the KickstArt team works tirelessly to develop the company’s status and output. 

Our Journey

Over the years, KickstArt has transitioned from the intimate Kwasuka Theatre to larger stages, collaborating with venues like the KZN Playhouse, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, and the Liberty Theatre on the Square in Johannesburg. The company also presented two plays on the main programme of the National Arts Festival in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown): Wit (2009) and Red (2012).

Our Collaborations

Our partnerships with South African theatre impresssario, Pieter Toerien, as well as with Tsogo Sun have realised recent touring successes in Johannesburg at The Teatro (Montecasino), The Lyric Theatre (Gold Reef City), Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre, and in Cape Town at his Theatre on the Bay.

Our Commitment to Talent

KickstArt is not just a theatre company; it’s a community where actors and artisans find meaningful, project-based employment, contributing to the vibrant cultural tapestry of KwaZulu-Natal. We are unwaveringly committed to developing young, local talent, and dedicated to creating a vibrant, sustainable future for the performing arts in our region.

KickstArt Directors:

Greg King

Artistic Director

Greg King’s multifaceted career spans acting, puppeteering, directing, and design. Greg’s visionary approach not only shapes the aesthetic and narrative of KickstArt’s repertoire but also continues to enchant and engage across genres.

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An honours graduate of the University of Natal – PMB, Greg has been working in Durban since 1994, as an actor, puppeteer, director, illustrator, scriptwriter and, most recently predominantly as designer and producer.

His professional career began in NAPAC’s Loft Theatre Company, followed by three years as Puppet Master of the Playhouse Puppet Company. Greg founded KickstArt in 2000 and productions designed and directed by him include I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Popcorn, The Importance of being Earnest, Keely & Du, Private Lives, Steel Magnolias, The Memory of Water, Proof, Table Manners, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Crimes of the Heart and Art.

In 2003 Greg was joined by Steven Stead and they have worked together as designer and director respectively, ever since. For other companies they have staged the world premiere of the opera Valley Song (Cape Town Opera), Rigoletto (Opera Africa), Bravo! (Playhouse Co) and My Fair Lady (Playhouse Co).

Greg has won the Durban Mercury Theatre Award for Best Set Design every year since 1999, and is particularly praised for his design work on KickstArt’s lavish productions for young audiences such as Sinbad the Sailor, Charlotte’s Web, Alice in Wonderland,  Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, Jungle Book, Aladdin and Cinderella. He won the Naledi Award for Best Costume Design for KickstArt’s Shrek: the Musical presented in Gauteng at Gold Reef City, and the Naledi and Fleur du Cap Awards 2019 for Best Set Design for Suddenly the Storm, produced by the Market Theatre.

Steven Stead

Executive Director

Steven Stead, an actor and director with a rich background in drama, is ever-committed to propelling KickstArt’s artistic journey forward. Steven’s leadership alongside Greg King has seen KickstArt evolve into a well respected South African institution.

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Steven holds a Drama Hons degree from UKZN, and initially pursued an acting career, appearing in dozens of plays and musicals, winning awards for acting, in Shakespeare (Hamlet and The Tempest) and comedy (The Mystery of Irma Vep). However, he has spent the greater part of the last twelve years directing. For eight years he was senior staff director at the English National Opera and directed many operas in London and elsewhere in Europe, before coming back to Durban to work with Greg King and develop KickstArt. Together they have revived the tradition of pantomime in the city, and have created some memorable drama productions: The Play That Goes Wrong, The Ladykillers, Twitch, Venus in Fur, Red, The God of Carnage, Duet for One, Wit, Noises Off, Laughing Wild, Shirley Valentine, Dangerous Liaisons, Boston Marriage, Oleanna, Dracula, Popcorn, Don’t Dress for Dinner and The Road to Mecca.
In 2007 they produced a musical for the first time, The Wizard of Oz, which won the Durban Mercury Theatre Award for Best Musical, followed by Little Shop of Horrors in 2009, which also won Best Musical, an original musical, Peter Pan which played to capacity audiences in Dec 2009 and also won Best Musical 2010, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (which Steven also appeared in), Cabaret in 2011 which won Best Musical for the company and Best Director for Stead, and has toured nationally. He directed the sumptuous KickstArt production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which played to capacity houses in 2012. He won the Naledi Theatre Award for Best Director of a Musical for Sweeney Todd in 2016, and was nominated for the same award for Into the Woods in 2019.

Other directing credits include Alcina (Oviedo and Bilbao, Spain) My Fair Lady and Bravo! (Playhouse Company), Rigoletto and La Traviata (Opera Africa), and Valley Song, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and Cosi fan tutte (Cape Town Opera).

Discover the magic that awaits— explore our Upcoming Shows and join us in the next chapter of KickstArt’s theatrical journey.

Delve into our history, browse our Past Productions, or relive fond moments of past shows where every performance tells a story.