Truida Louw

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Truida Louw (13/04/1913-17/08/2004). Actress, journalist, teacher and highly accomplished director for radio, stage and film.

Biography

Born Gertruida Isabella Reinet (Truida) Pohl, one of Pieter Pohl's four talented children, (Truida, Snaps, Anna and Jan Pohl). She went to a Catholic school and studied at the Graaff Reinet Teacher's Training College. Lecturer at the Denne-oord Opleidingskollege in Stellenbosch in 1934, in 1936 started to work for the SABC in Cape Town as freelance radio director, and in 1937 joined the staff of the youth journal Die Jongspan and did work for Die Huisgenoot. In this time she began directing plays for the Kaapstadse Afrikaanse Toneelvereniging and the Akademie vir Toneelkuns. In 1934 she became a part-time employee of the SABC and in 1945 a full-time director. In 1948 the family went to Holland, where she worked for the Afrikaans service of Radio Nederland. In 1959 she and two colleagues (Aletta Gericke and Renée van der Walt) founded Trio Films.

Briefly married to a fellow teacher, Fred le Roux, she met the poet and dramatist N.P. van Wyk Louw in the late 1930s, divorced Le Roux and married Louw in 1941. They had two children Reinet and Peter.

After the death of her husband she returned to directing, working for the SABC and the Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal (PACT) She never considered herself an actress, but did play a number of roles for her father and as a young woman, including the lead in the Denne-oord Opleidingskollege production of Beatrys in 1937*?, . After her second marriage she assumed Truida Louw as her professional name and began to make her name as a professional director for radio, stage and film. She also taught theatre studies at the University of Pretoria.

She died in Johannesburg.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Among her best known productions are Altyd My Liefste (for NTO with André Huguenet, 1947/8*), the hugely successful Mattewis en Meraai for PACT. She directed N.P. van Wyk Louw’s Die Pluimsaad waai vêr at the Brooke Theatre in 1966 for PACT.

Her Afrikaans production of Schiller’s Maria Stuart, was staged by PACT/TRUK, at the Alexander Theatre in 1972.

She has also directed productions of Ampie, Moeder Courage, Die Nag van Legio, Andorra, Arme Marat, Die Sterkere, Twaalfde Nag, Vrede Tuis, Die Bekentenis and Die Vroue van Troje.

On occasion acted as adjudicator for the FATSSA Play Festival.

Sources

Du Toit, P.J., 1988.

Tucker, 1997.

Obituary, Die Burger, 28th August 2004.


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