The Problem-Solving Theatre Project (PST) is one of South Africa’s foremost industrial theatre companies. We pride ourselves on being able to respond to problems in a way that is creative, ethical, professional and affordable.

Problem-Solving Theatre is a method of communicating about safety, health and other messages in the workplace and in communities through the dynamic, interactive medium of theatre.

A range of Industrial Theatre projects showing workshops, audience interactions and performances

How Industrial Theatre Works

Theatre works best when it explores human behaviour in context. Our shows look at risky behaviours and safer behaviours, and why people make certain choices about these. When a piece of theatre is culturally informed, evidence-based and grounded in communications and social behaviour change theory, it has the desired impact. Published, university-based research into our work has proven theatre to be an effective way to communicate, with visible impact on staff morale and agenda setting, as well as reported behaviour change amongst audiences.

The Team & our partners

The project partnership was formed in 2005, and the core team of Dr Emma Durden and Bhekani Shabalala have been working together since 1998. Based in KZN and the Garden Route, the PST Project team are regular travellers, and have delivered theatre projects around South Africa, as well as in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia.

We work with a wide range of performers, motivational speakers and presenters to offer additional services for workplace events and functions. With inspirational speakers on topics from disability awareness to cancer survivors, fun events from biltong tasting to choral singing, and personal services from sangomas to HIV testing providers; we are happy to put you in touch with our trusted partners.

Industrial Theatre Projects

Theatre is a popular medium to help raise awareness of new initiatives, launch products and practices, highlight safety concerns and introduce change in the workplace. Past projects have covered topics such as: workplace safety, SHREQ management, HIV and AIDS, stress management, men’s health, employee assistance, and environmental issues.

Diversity Theatre

As many companies grapple with effectively managing diversity, equity and inclusion; we have developed a light and humorous short play that raises these issues, and which can be followed with practical workshops to boost tolerance and empathy in the workplace, an allow your employees to get to grips with these issues.

Awareness and Training Videos

For large groups, or multiple sites & shifts, we work with a team of film-makers to translate our plays into video. Video production is a great tool to use when you need to get a standardised message across to different audiences. Past videos include induction, near-miss incidents, documenting project successes, and managing substance abuse.

Training & Development

Our creative edge ensures that all training is interactive and engaging. We offer training in communication skills, management communication and difficult conversations, safety training, train-the-trainer, presentation skills, performance skills, writing and reporting skills, critical thinking skills and cultural diversity.

Creative and Critical Thinking Workshops

We are regularly asked to re-energise work teams and encourage the use of creative thinking to build confidence, increase job satisfaction and improve productivity. Re-connecting staff with the meaning of their work means they feel more comfortable with their roles. Our creative and critical thinking workshops, delivered alongside internationally acclaimed artist, Dr Greg Streak, can be tailored to suit your team and environment.

Community Health & Development

We have worked on a number of projects that build skills for unemployed youth and link community-based theatre groups with workplaces and government institutions. Past projects include MOZAL workplace safety programme, Ethekwini Water and Sanitation Project and MIET / AFRICA IGNITE water and sanitation programme.

See one of our recent projects here:

And another below:


Our clients

We have a strong client list, with many repeat clients with whom
we have been working for over a decade.

  • Aspen Pharmaceuticals
  • Beier Technologies
  • Blue Label Technologies
  • BP Southern Africa
  • Capital Alliance Insurance
  • Careways
  • Chemical Initiatives
  • Cimpor / NPC
  • The Cold Chain
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • Elgin, Brown & Hamer
  • Eskom
  • Foskor
  • Goss & Balfe
  • Group 5
  • Health Insite
  • Kaefer
  • KZN Premier’s Office
  • Lafarge Cement
  • Lanxess
  • Merensky Mills
  • Mondi
  • Old Mutual
  • Richards Bay Minerals
  • Ripple Effect
  • Samancor mines
  • Sanlam
  • Smiths Manufacturing
  • SA Sugar Association
  • South African Ports Authority
  • Transnet
  • Tubatse Mines
  • Ugu Municipality
  • Woolworths

“We could not stop talking about the play! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the show. It comes up in every conversation. The compliments are non-stop. The fact that it was fine tuned to fit Foskor, was really a plus in the performance. A very big Thank you once again. It was an absolute pleasure working with you guys.”

Althaff Mahomed, Occupational Hygiene & Environmental Technologist, Foskor

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT MORE:  082 673 6662   /

Read more about our work

Adults, arts, escapism and instruction – finding the balance
Dr Emma Durden on the balance between working in the arts and working in health promotion.
Read the article

Medical and Health Humanities Africa website
Network and blog covering health practice and research across Africa.
Visit the website

Participatory forum theatre for AIDS education
Honours research essay by Emma Durden & Domonique Ndura
Read the essay

Theatre, empowerment, and making a difference
Article by Emma Durden about theatre as a method for HIV and AIDS awareness.
Read the article