ESAT: The Encyclopaedia of South African Theatre and Performance
Founder and general editor: Temple Hauptfleisch
Editorial assistant: Miriam Terblanche
Web publisher: University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Editorial offices: University of Stellenbosch, Department of Drama
The Encyclopaedia of South African Theatre and Performance (ESAT) is an open access, internet based interactive resource for theatre and performance researchers interested in the evolution, history and forms of drama, theatre and performance in South Africa. Deriving from the University of Stellenbosch's Libopedia, it uses the Wiki format and programmes and is published on the web with the assistance of the Drama Department (http://www.sun.ac.za/drama) and its former Centre for Theatre and Performance Studies), the J.S. Gericke Library and the division for Information Technology at the University of Stellenbosch (http://www.sun.ac.za/index.asp)
Aims of ESAT
The key aim of the ESAT encyclopaedia is to create a comprehensive database on the history and nature of South African drama, theatre and performance (including dance, oral performance and similar forms), and to make it available as a general reference work and resource for the use of researchers, students, artists, journalist and all other interested parties. This first version of the encyclopaedia was originally intended to be a formally published mini-encyclopaedia and reference work called A Companion to South African Theatre and Performance (COMSAT) and was derived from a database collated by Temple Hauptfleisch and the Centre for Theatre and Performance Studies (CENTAPS) at Stellenbosch (with the help of a large number of associates and assistants) over the course of twenty years (1990-2010) (For more on this see About ESAT below, especially the sections on Acknowledgements and Background, origins and history ).
This new version of COMSAT, now called ESAT, is intended as a means of "publishing" all that material online, and thus make the results of all existing and emerging academic and other research more readily accessible to the general reader and the theatre enthusiast nationally and internationally. In this sense the basic aim is rather to condense and collate available information on all South African theatre and performance forms (as far as they have been documented) in one place and in a handy and accessible digital format, rather than to undertake any comprehensive new research. Happily a great deal of little known and/or forgotten information has in fact come to the fore in the process, and much is still being discovered as the project grows. However, that was never - nor is it - the fundamental aim of this first version of ESAT.
- What is ESAT?
- Background, origins and history
- Basic principles in editing and using ESAT
- A Warning to Readers of ESAT
- Updating ESAT
- Guide to using ESAT
Note to all readers
This first, experimental phase of the project is very much a work in progress, in which the material in the database is being put onto the web. The main idea has ben to make this information available to all users as soon as possible, therefore the material has been used much as it was received - incomplete as it may be at this stage, often with many lacunae, uncertainties and even possible errors. (Asterisks [*] are used in the text to signal our own awareness of gaps or possible errors .) There will definitely be issues, people and institutions that our readers may know about but we are unaware of and therefore have no entries as yet.
We would like to invite all readers to help in improving, editing and expanding this material. Should you wish to comment, alter or add to a particular entry, or to the encyclopaedia as a whole, please go to the section Updating ESAT.
The entries for ESAT have been grouped in 7 categories, managed and edited by one of the research editors. To access database material on the relevant category, and choose the item by clicking on the link.
- South African Theatre/Overview
- South African Theatre Terminology and Thematic Entries
- South African Theatre Personalities
- South African Theatre Venues, Companies, Societies, etc
- South African Theatre Plays
- A Chronology of South African Theatre and Performance
- A Bibliography of South African South African Theatre and Performance