Lara Foot – South African theatre director, writer and producer – is noted for her creative spirit. As one of her country’s most promising directors, she has been recognized nationally for her hard-hitting work.
Although she has already made great strides, Foot, 36, regards becoming the protégée of Sir Peter Hall as “the opportunity of a lifetime”. “This will give me the chance to extend my skill as a director,” she says. “The theatre industry in South Africa is struggling, and it desperately needs to be nurtured.”
A passion for storytelling
Storytelling has been Foot’s passion since her days at the University of Witwatersrand where, in 1989, she earned an honours degree in drama and received an award for outstanding achievement in directing. She was inspired early on by Barney Simon, the South African director who co-founded Johannesburg’s non-racial Market Theatre. After winning the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award in 1995, Foot held senior directing posts at the Market Theatre from 1996 to 2000, implementing visionary programmes.
A wealth of experience
To date, she has directed more than 30 productions, 23 of which have been new South African works, including a staging of Zakes Mda’s novel, Ways of Dying (2000), and her own creation, Tshepang (2003) a devastating portrayal of child abuse in South Africa. Among the contemporary classics she has directed are Waiting for Godot (2001) and A Streetcar Named Desire (2002).
Over the past decade, Foot has also toured internationally, taught acting and directing, and written scripts. Committed to developing South African theatre, she intends to share her mentoring experience with budding directors in her native country.