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Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban



Founded in 1981 by the late Professor Elizabeth Sneddon, the EST has the proud reputation of being the first theatre to service a drama department at an academic institution. The theatre is now also available for hire by outside companies, and therefore hosts a wide variety of independently produced events, ranging from corporate functions and launches to dance programs, childrens' shows, music reviews, rock concerts, comedy, satire and drama. In addition, the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre has a close association with the University's Centre for Creative Arts, playing host to such internationally reputed events as the Durban International Film Festival, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience, the Time of the Writer and Poetry Africa festivals.

A Comment from the Theatre Director

Bust of Prof. Sneddon
Nobody can say that nothing ever happens in Durban, for in one theatre alone there are over 17 productions of a varied nature taking place during the course of a year. Those that are privately funded by local entrepreneurs and producers are designed largely to entertain, as is necessary for financial feasibility. Festivals and events receiving sponsorship and funding from outside sources are structured not only to showcase and exchange ideas, artistry and talent but also to play a vital educational role.


We are thus proud to present another year of varied entertainment to our audiences, and the following gentle reminder from Federico Garcia Lorca (Spanish Playwright and poet) to those who may steer away from challenging and innovative productions:

A nation which does not help and does not encourage its theatre is, if not dead, dying; just as the theatre which does not feel the social pulse, the historical pulse, the drama of its people…has no right to call itself a theatre, but an amusement hall, or a place for doing that dreadful thing known as “killing time.”

There are many people who work very hard at keeping theatre and the arts alive in KZN, and we encourage and implore the public to support events at all theatres and venues. We would also like to extend an invitation for comments and suggestions regarding productions for the future at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

Jackie Cunniffe


Covid-19 and the theatre industry


Dear patrons and clients


The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre has remained closed for outside hire during most of the lockdown period, on instruction from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  With the move to adjusted lockdown level 1, and campus life slowly returning to normal, we hope to re-open for public events in the near future. A newsletter will be sent out, once we have our first productions secured and finalised - please join our mailing list via the link on this page (bottom left side).  Thank you, and we look forward to seeing everyone back at the theatre soon.