ESAT Bibliographic Conventions

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The notes below provide the general bibliographic guidelines used by the compilers.

Also consult specific guidelines provided under the various listings, e.g. ESAT Plays and Performances or the ESAT Bibliography.

General Bibliographic conventions and usage

(1) Use and placement of articles in titles of plays, articles, books, venues, etc: In accordance with normal bibliographic usage, in cases where the titles of plays and performances contain an initial article (e.g. "A", "An" and "The" in English, " 'N" or "Die" in Afrikaans), the items are listed alphabetically according to the first noun following that initial article. The article is then put at the end of the title. To illustrate: "The Arrest by Uys Krige" is listed as "Arrest, The by Uys Krige" under #A. Similarly, the original Afrikaans version ("Die Arrestasie") is listed as "Arrestasie, Die by Uys Krige", also under #A.

NB: This is however only done for the numerous works listed in Afrikaans, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish in this encyclopaedia. In most other languages (such as the other seven indigenous South African languages, including Sotho, Xhosa and Zulu, and any European languages not listed above, such as Russian, Greek, Norwegian, etc), the full titles are listed exactly as they are, with beginning article where applicable, since the grammatical structure of most such languages are too complex and unfamiliar for us to apply this procedure consistently.

Please also note: Plays or Venue (Organization, institutions, etc) names with titles starting with a numeral or date are placed in a separate listing marked #Numbers or dates.

(2) Capitalization of titles: Since this encyclopaedia is written in English and the convention in English is to capitalize all nouns and verbs in the title of a publication or play, the same usage is extended here to titles in other languages, where the conventions may be different. The case of Afrikaans titles is particularly important here, since only the first word in an Afrikaans title is normally capitalized, the rest being written in lower case. So the play Siener in die suburbs will appear here as Siener in die Suburbs, Die jaar van die vuuros will be written Die Jaar van die Vuuros, and so on.

(3) Names of people: In the various listings, names are given in normal bibliographic form (last name, surname followed by first name,, second, etc). In the entries however the names are given in normal sequence, and are cross referenced as such.

(4) Searching for a name: Since links and cross referencing are done using the normal full title or name, use the names in the right order when using the Search function on this encyclopaedia.

(5) Abbreviations: For consistency, abbreviations forming part of the name of a person, venue (e.g. St for Saint in St John's Theatre ) are spelled WITHOUT a period/full top, as is normal South African usage, even though some sources and institutions appear to have preferred the final period/stop in their titles.


Specific conventions regarding the titles of plays, films and other performances

(1) Foreign plays in the list: In the case of the second list (Plays II), the term "significant" is used to refer to plays that have had an extended life or long run over the years, or a theatrical event which had a specific and demonstrale impact on the industry and the art form in South Africa. It is obvious that the sheer number of plays produced in the country over the course of almost four centuries, we cannot possibly list all plays, even though we are trying to be as comprehensive and thorough as possible.

(2) Adapted/translated plays: Plays that have been adapted from or are translated versions of international works, are listed under their local titles in Plays II , then cross-referenced to the original title (also in Plays II). Thus for example Umabatha will be listed under "U" in Plays II with a cross-referencing to Macbeth (under "M"), while Absolom, my Seun! will be listed under "A" in Plays II and cross-referenced to the original text (John Ferguson by St John Ervine) under "J".

NB: Since some local authors do not necessarily (or always) acknowledge their original sources, please check BOTH lists - i.e. Plays I and Plays II when looking for a play.

(3) Plays by Shakespeare: For ease of reference the plays by Shakespeare are not listed under their full Elizabethan title in Plays II, but under the the briefer, more familiar titles used by the general public. (e.g. Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, etc.) The same is often true of the titles for the Greek, Roman and other translated plays.

(4) The list of Collections: Collections of plays (Plays III) consists only of collections which contain at least one South African text, and the contents of the volume will also only list the South African texts contained in the volume. For details about the individual plays see the lists Plays I and Plays II (under name of the individual play)

(5) Pageants and Public Events: In this section (Plays IV), the events are dealt with as performances, and each one is thus listed under its title in the same way a play may be. However, should any of these events be made up of or contain smaller entities (e.g. plays, performances, exhibitions etc), details about the individual plays will be found in Plays I and Plays II (under name of the individual play), as in the case of Collections.

Specific conventions regarding the names of theatrical companies and venues

An important facet pre-20th century theatre in South Africa (as elsewhere in the world) has been the use of a motto or saying under which the company performed as part of the title for or name of a theatrical company. In the literature one often finds such a company being referred to by its motto rather than by its actual title, since descriptions (and names) of companies tended to be somewhat flexible and to vary considerably, the only reliable or constant element being the motto. Many companies from the period are thus only identified by and discussed under the particular company's motto in this encyclopaedia.

The same principle applies where a shortened version of the name of a company (and venue, festival, organization, institution, etc.), an earlier name, an acronym, even a nick-name, have become common usage. However, where possible we have tried to provide cross-referencing and the appropriate links, so that one may search on any of the possible names.

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