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Welcome to

The ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF SOUTH AFRICAN THEATRE, FILM, MEDIA AND PERFORMANCE (ESAT)

An online, open access, digital reference work on theatre, film, media and performance in South Africa.

(Latest version of the Main Page: 1 November 2014)

About ESAT

ESAT is a Wiki-based, online, open access encyclopaedia, currently being edited by Temple Hauptfleisch (founder, editor and project director), with Freddy Ogterop, Johann van Heerden and Miriam Terblanche as assistant editors. Hosted by Stellenbosch University

Conceived in the early 1980s and registered as a research project in 1994 by Temple Hauptfleisch, it was originally intended for publication in printed book format (see COMSAT). However in 2008 the switch was made to the current digital, online publication, which was opened up for public access and use in late 2011. The current open-access reference work is the result of a national research programme, involving a large number of voluntary writers, researcher, editors and technical supporters over more than 15 years.

For more information about specific aspects of ESAT, click on the appropriate link below:

  1. Aims, organizational structure
  2. Contributors
  3. Background, origins and history of ESAT
  4. Basic principles in editing and using ESAT


You can also consult the entry on the Encyclopaedia of South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance in the encylopaedia itself.

The ESAT address

The Editor: ESAT, Department of Drama, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, MATIELAND 7602, South Africa.

E-mail address: satj@sun.ac.za

Fax number: (+ 27) 21 882 9141


How to use ESAT

While ESAT uses the Wiki programme, which makes provision for a very useful search function, the database has avoided contemporary multi-screen web-design, and has been constructed rather more traditionally, like a printed encyclopaedia, with an index to the various entries (called The ESAT Entries). The entries in the index have been grouped in fifteen distinct categories, each one managed and edited by one of the research editors.

Important notes for everyone using ESAT

  1. The focus is on pre-21st century theatre, film, media and performance
  2. It is work in progress

To find out more about these matters, click on the items above.

Accessing the database of entries

To access database material on the relevant category, the reader has two options:

Using the "Search" function

Go to the "Search" block at the top right of this page (or type: Alt+F) and type in the search word/phrase.

Using the Index

Go to the Index (below) and click on the appropriate link in the list of 16 categories of entries, then follow instructions on the landing page.

Index to ESAT entries

The entries for ESAT have been grouped in sixteen categories, managed and edited by one of the research editors.

Please note that public celebratory events and pageants are viewed as performances or theatrical events for the purposes of this encyclopaedia, and thus are listed here as a sub-category of the section on South African Stage Plays, while festivals and competitions are listed in the category South African Festivals.

To access database material on the relevant category, click on the appropriate link below.


  1. South African Theatre and Performance/Overview
  2. South African Film/Overview
  3. South African Media/Overview
  4. The South African Context/General Terminology and Thematic Entries
  5. South African Theatre/Terminology and Thematic Entries
  6. South African Film /Terminology and Thematic Entries
  7. South African Media/Terminology and Thematic Entries
  8. South African Personalities
  9. South African Venues, Companies, Societies, etc
  10. South_African_Films
  11. South African Stage Plays
  12. South African Radio Plays and Serials
  13. South African Television Plays and Series
  14. South African Festivals and Competitions
  15. A Chronology of South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance
  16. A Bibliography of South African South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance

An invitation to contribute to ESAT

All researchers, artists and other interested parties are invited to help us to expand, improve, update and correct ESAT, since by its very nature, the database will always be incomplete and prone to error on occasion.

Submitting contributions, suggestions and corrections to ESAT

There are a number of ways of submitting entries, suggestions or material, as described below.

NB Note about registering an account

Unlike Wikipedia and similar websites, , ESAT does not allow anyone, except the appointed researchers on the research programme, to make changes directly to the ESAT website, even though there is a facility for applying for an ESAT account available on the website. (This facility is an inherent part of the Wiki-programme, but is dormant as far as the ESAT project is concerned.)

So we ask that you please submit material and suggestions to the Editor, in one of the ways described below, and do not try to apply for an ESAT account for yourself. On receipt, the contributions will all be seriously considered and assessed by the research team, for inclusion where and if suitable.

Ways of submitting material for inclusion

To submit any pieces of data, visual material or suggestions for alterations, please send such proposals, changes, edits, and new material in Word-format (and if possible as an e-mail attachment) directly to the Editor at satj@sun.ac.za for evaluation and inclusion.

If you wish to write up a full, new entry and send it to us, you may do so using the ESAT Templates, which are explained and provided below as a guideline for entries in various sections of the encyclopaedia.

Original material, such as CV's, documents, photographic and other material can also be scanned and sent to the same address for possible use as source material or illustrations.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you submit all necessary and relevant references for sources used to compile entries, sources (and copyright holders) of material submitted, or information supplied.

Material can also be mailed or faxed to any of the following addresses for the attention of the Editor:

The Editor: ESAT, Department of Drama, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, MATIELAND 7602, South Africa.

Fax number: (+ 27) 21 882 9141

The ESAT Templates

We have devised the following templates for the varous categories in the encylopaedia (see Index to ESAT Entries above), and we invite you to use them when preparing material to submit to us, especially when submitting full, new entries. To find the appropriate ESAT Template for your purposes, click on the category below:

  1. Film ESAT Template
  2. Personalities ESAT Template
  3. Radio Plays & series ESAT Template
  4. Stage Plays ESAT Template
  5. Festivals and Competitions Template
  6. Themes and definitions ESAT Template
  7. TV Drama & series ESAT Template
  8. Venues, Companies, Institutions etc ESAT Template

Please use the headings outlined in the appropriate category to write up your entry/entries for inclusion in ESAT. Do so in a Word document, and then mail it back to us as an e-mail attachment satj@sun.ac.za, or in a letter to the address given above, and we will upload it onto the website.