Cecilia Sonnenberg

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(1914-1999) Actress, director and theatre entrepreneur. Born and raised in Johannesburg (??), she was an aunt of actress Janet Suzman. Began her career working back stage and on stage??** with the Johannesburg REPS . ** [When she replaced to Cape Town ] she appeared in André van Gyseghem’s production for the Cape Town Repertory Theatre Society of Man and Superman at the Little Theatre, Cape Town in 1937 and **. In collaboration with her friend René Ahrenson, she created the Spotlight Theatre during the second world war and they held numerous play readings in the Electricity House Theatre in Strand Street. In 1957 she and Ahrenson founded the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre in Wynberg, Cape Town. There she appeared in and directed numerous productions, including ****. Later she also became a founder member of The Company of Four, the last of the four original members to pass away in 2000. In 1998 she received the Fleur du Cap Lifetime Award for her contribution to the industry. SONNENBURG, Cecilia. In charge of props for the REPS’s Anna Christie, 1942. Later founded the Open Air Shakespeare at Maynardville with René Ahrenson. Aunt of actress Janet Suzman (?). Also member of the Company of Four with Leonard Schach, Donald Inskip and René Ahrenson. Leslie French became a regular director of Shakespeare for Sonnenberg and René Ahrenson’s Maynardville.

Sources

See: De Beer, 1995; Tucker, 1997; Inskip, 197* [FdV, TH]

Cape Times 15 June 1999.


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