Reza de Wet

From ESAT
Jump to: navigation, search

THIS ENTRY STILL NEEDS TO BE EDITED


Reza de Wet (1952-2012) [1] was a South African actress, award-winning playwright, novelist and drama lecturer.

Biography

Born in Senekal in the Free State, an only child. Her father was a judge in Bloemfontein, where she matriculated at the Hoër Meisieskool Oranje. Her mother involved in amateur operetta and drama. Her classmates thought her a bit enigmatic, but she excelled in drama, performing in the school plays. The school now has an annual drama festival named after her.

De Wet died of leukemia in 2012 and is survived by her husband Lindsay Reardon and daughter Nina.

Training

She studied English and Drama at the University of the Orange Free State (1971-1973), then completed a BA Honours degree there, before going to do a Performers Diploma at the University of Cape Town and later a part-time MA in English literature through the University of South Africa.


Career

As actress

She worked as an actress for the Market Theatre and PACT, including its experimental Arena Company. It was here she met Lindsay Reardon, whom she later married.

Cited in http://kknk.co.za/reza-de-wet-haar-lewe-en-werke/ "Teatervervaardiger Mannie Manim, destydse mede-uitvoerende hoof van Truk, onthou De Wet se oudisie vir Truk klokhelder en beskryf haar talent as so uitsonderlik in standaard as uniek in aard. Op daardie stadium het Truk pas ’n eksperimentele jeug-teatergeselskap gestig onder leiding van Ken Leach. Meeste van die jonger akteurs was hoofsaaklik op hierdie platform geakkommodeer, maar De Wet vertolk reeds in haar eerste Truk-jaar hoofrolle in die amptelike geselskap met groot lof. Tog was die jeuggeselskap ook ’n dinamiese slypskool vir De Wet se kreatiewe impulse. Teen die agtergrond van die destydse internasionale boikotte is die jonger lede aangemoedig om hul eie werk te skep en te ontwikkel. Hier ontmoet De Wet haar toekomende man, Lindsay Reardon. Hy onthou haar eiesoortige bydraes tot die werkswinkelstukke. Reza maak met Reardon kennis in ’n kreatiewe konteks en vir die res van haar lewe bly hy haar belangrikste adviseur en ondersteuner as speler en skrywer. Later word hy met Manim medestigter van die Markteater en regisseer hy De Wet ook in Auguste Strindberg se Mis Julie waarvoor sy besondere kritieke eer ontvang. Terugskouend sou De Wet later haar ondervinding as aktrise beskou as die “belangrikste ervaring wat skryf aangaan – om binne ’n stuk in te kom”."

As director

As director De Wet did, among other plays, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, (1989) and August Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata for the Rhodes University Drama Department. Her final directing job at Rhodes was her own play Heathcliff Goes Home (2007).


As author and playwright

In addition to her ** plays, De Wet wrote two novels, one in Afrikaans called Stil Mathilda, ("Silent Mathilda", 1995) and one in English called Heathcliffe goes Home (a reworking of a theme from an early play, Heathcliff and the Dancing Bear.)

However, she first leapt to prominence as a playwright when her first Afrikaans play, Diepe Grond, premiéred sensationally at the ATKV Kampustoneel-festival in Pretoria in 1982.


The Plays

Though she had written some earlier work in English (notably Heathcliff and the Dancing Bear, in which she explores the life of Emily Brontë's brooding hero before he arrived at Wuthering Heights - later produced as De Wet's final directorial production at Rhodes University as Heathcliff Goes Home), she leapt to prominence as a playwright when her first Afrikaans play premiéred sensationally in Afrikaans with Diepe Grond (Lit: "Deep Ground") at the ATKV Kampustoneel-festival in Pretoria in 1982. (S: Market Theatre, 1985, P:1987, Tr: Dearth.) Produced a steady stream of neo-Gothic (“Afrikaner Gothic”) works: Vrystaat Trilogie (“Free State Trilogy” – P: 1991) contained: Diepe Grond (S 198*), Op Dees Aarde (lit. “On this earth”, S: 1986) and Nag, Generaal (“Goodnight General” – S: 1988?*). Then two English plays: In a Different Light (S: 1988) and Worm in the Bud (S: 1988, S: 1990, P: 1995). Returned to Afrikaans with the trilogy Trits: Mis, Mirakel en Drif (P: 1993), contains: Mis (a complex title which can refer to any or all of “Fog”, “Dung”, “to miss a target” or “the Catholic Mass” – S: 1993 - Winner Fleur du Cap Award for Best New Indigenous Script 1993), Mirakel (lit. “miracle” – S: 1994) and Drif (Lit. both “a ford in a river” or “passion” – S: 1994 Winner Fleur du Cap Award for Best New Indigenous Script 1994). After a novel (**** 1994), returned to a performance text for the First Physical Theatre Company, (S: 199*), then the first of her Chekhov works, the superb Drie Susters Twee (“Three Sisters Two” - S: 1997, P: 1996. Winner Fleur du Cap Award for Best New Indigenous Script 1997) and Yelena (S: 1998). These were followed by ** (199*), ** (20**), ** (200*) and Breathing In (2004). On the later productions, worked closely with director designer Marthinus Basson. The first playwright and only the second author to win the prestigious Hertzog Prize twice in a row for the same medium (1993, 1996).

DE WET, Reza. Her Diepe Grond starring Dawid Minnaar, Susan Coetzer, Gys de Villiers and Doris Sihula under Lucille Gillwald’s direction was staged at Upstairs at the Market in 1986. Her A Worm in the Bud was staged in 1990.

Other plays are Concealment (2004) The Brothers, Broers (2006) On the Lake (Grahamstown Festival, 2001)

Verleiding, a piece with Antoinette Kellerman and Heike Gehring, (Woordfees, 2005)

Blou Uur (Blue Hour) Aardklop festival, 2008 Die See (The Sea), was performed at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in April 2011. Her last play *** was performed post-humously *** in 2012.


DE WET, Reza (1952-) Actress, award-winning playwright, novelist and drama lecturer. Born in Free State, studied Drama and English at the UOFS and UCT. Acted for the Market Theatre, married Lindsay Reardon and from 1980 taught at Rhodes University Drama Department, Grahamstown. Premiéred as playwright with Diepe Grond (Lit: “Deep Ground”) at the ATKV Kampustoneel festival]] in Pretoria (1982). (S: Market Theatre, 1985, P:1987, Tr: Dearth.) Produced a steady stream of neo-Gothic (“Afrikaner Gothic”) works: Vrystaat Trilogie (“Free State Trilogy” – P: 1991) contained: Diepe Grond (S 198*), Op Dees Aarde (lit. “On this earth”, S: 1986) and Nag Generaal (“Goodnight General” – S: 1988?*). Then two English plays: In a Different Light (S: 1988) and Worm in the Bud (S: 1988, S: 1990, P: 1995). Returned to Afrikaans with the trilogy Trits: Mis, Mirakel en Drif (P: 1993), contains: Mis (a complex title which can refer to any or all of “Fog”, “Dung”, “to miss a target” or “the Catholic Mass” – S: 1993 - Winner [[Fleur du Cap Award for Best New Indigenous Script 1993), [[Mirakel] (lit. “miracle” – S: 1994) and Drif (Lit. both “a ford in a river” or “passion” – S: 1994 Winner [[Fleur du Cap Award for Best New Indigenous Script 1994). After a novel (**** 1994), returned to a performance text for the First Physical Theatre Company, (S: 199*), then the first of her Chekhov works, the superb Drie Susters Twee (“Three Sisters Two” - S: 1997, P: 1996. Winner Fleur du Cap Award for Best New Indigenous Script 1997) and Yelena (S: 1998). These were followed by ** (199*), ** (20**), ** (200*) and Breathing In (2004). On the later productions, worked closely with director designer Marthinus Basson. The first playwright and only the second author to win the prestigious Hertzog Prize twice in a row for the same medium (1993, 1996).

DE WET, Reza. Her Diepe Grond starring Dawid Minnaar, Susan Coetzer, Gys de Villiers and Doris Sihula under Lucille Gillwald’s direction was staged at Upstairs at the Market in 1986. Her A Worm in the Bud was staged in 1990. She achieved an MA in English literature through the University of South Africa and taught in the drama department at Rhodes University, where she became a professor, for more than 20 years before retiring in 2007. Die See (The Sea), was performed at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in April 2011, and in which she acted for the first time in 20 years, she announced that she had written everything she wanted to write and would not be writing any more. In late October last year she was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of leukaemia. In addition to her plays, De Wet wrote a novel called Heathcliff Goes Home, in which she explores the life of Emily Brontë's brooding hero before he arrived at Wuthering Heights.

Translations

Reza de Wet: Plays One An English version of the collection Trits: Mis, Mirakel en Drif translated by Steven Stead and published by Oberon Books, 2000. (Includes the plays Missing, Crossing and Miracle).

Reza de Wet: Plays Two Translated by Reza de Wet. Foreword by Marthinus Basson. Published by Oberon Press 2005. (Contains African Gothic, Good Heavens and Breathing In.)

As Lecturer

In 1982 de wet and her husband moved to Grahamstown, where they both worked in the drama department at Rhodes University. She taught in the drama department for more than 20 years, later being made a professor, and retired in 2007.

Awards and tributes

In April 2013 the Rhodes University Drama Department devised a a tribute show to the playwright, entitled Drifting, which was performed at the Rhodes Theatre during Graduation on 4, 6 and 9 April 2013 at 7:00pm. Similar tributes were held at other Universities in South Africa.

The Hoër Meisieskool Oranje in Bloemfontein named their annual Drama festival after Reza de Wet.

The Reza De Wet Post Graduate Bursary fund was established at Rhodes University in her memory.

Sources

http://www.argief.litnet.co.za/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=cause_dir_news_item&news_id=64476&cause_id=1270

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reza_de_Wet

http://kknk.co.za/reza-de-wet-haar-lewe-en-werke/

Greg Homann 2015. in Martin Middeke, Peter Paul Schnierer and Greg Homann (editors). The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary South African Theatre. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Go to South African Theatre/Bibliography

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities D

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page