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Financial and institutional support

ESAT is an ongoing and constantly expanding research and documentation project, first conceived and planned in general terms while the project leader was head of the Centre for South African Theatre Research (CESAT))]] at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) (1979-1987). However it was only formally initiated in 1994 as A Companion to South African Theatre and Performance (COMSAT), when he founded the Centre for Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Stellenbosch.

Besides benefitting from the institutional support of the various institutions named above, the project has also been supported financially over the years by means of a number of larger grants from the Centre for Science Development (CSD) of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the National Research Foundation (NRF), and the Research Fund at the University of Stellenbosch. A particular word of thanks goes to the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa for a 5 year grant to the Project Leader for the finalization of the project (2008-2012), under its Incentive Funding Programme for rated researchers.

The project leader and his team would like to thank all these institutions for their wonderful support. In addition they would also like to thank the various Deans of Arts and Directors of Research and their staff, the Research Committee of the University of Stellenbosch and the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Theatre and Performance Studies for their belief in the project.

NB: The results and opinions expressed in this publication, however, are those of the individual authors and in no way reflect the opinions of the Centre for Theatre and Performance Studies, the National Research Foundation or the University of Stellenbosch.

A personal note from the Project Leader and Compiler

Besides the funding and support of institutions, the COMSAT/ESAT research project - like any encyclopaedic project - has always been dependent on the help and support of a great number of individuals. The prime source of material has thus always been the largely voluntary contributing authors who supplied us with information and entries. Quite rightly their names are listed as part of the research team and I would like to acknowledge that support here and thank each and every one of them heartily for it. (See the list of Contributors.)

The fact is, the database is the result of a long cherished dream of mine, sparked by my years as head of the national documentation centre on the performing arts (CESAT, 1979-1987)and finally initiated in 1994 as a project of the Centre for Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Stellenbosch. Over the years I have been supported by many advisors and contributors, who helped us gather and process this huge amount of divergent information. Without all of you it would not have been possible.

At a more personal level, I would like to thank a few specific individuals for their unstinting help with the vast administrative and documentary tasks we had to undertake over the past two decades, but particularly during the past five years.

First I must mention my many colleagues at the Centre for South African Theatre Research, who first got me interested in South African theatre history - notable among them P.P.B. Breytenbach (generally known as "Oom Breytie"), Rinie Stead, Joey Fourie, Astrid Schwenke, Paddy Terry, Eunice Reynecke, and many others. In many ways they planted the early seeds for the project.

Then there is my valued girl friday and colleague of almost seven years, Yvette Hutchison – a miracle of enthusiasm, competence and energy. Without her there would hardly have been a Centre for Theatre and Performance Studies and certainly no Companion, and her support is still strongly felt in what we do.

Third , there are our sub-editors and academic consciences, Edwin Hees and the late Arnold Blumer. Their support inspired and guided a great deal of the work done, not only on the COMSAT/ESAT project , but in the Centre for Theatre and Performance Studies, on the South African Theatre Journal and in the Department of Drama. We value them immensely and Arnold's tragic passing in 2004 was an immense loss to theatre scholarship in the country. (Indeed as have been the passing of a number of our other contributors over the years, including Louw Odendaal, Jill Fletcher, Julius Eichbaum, Anton Welman, and others.)

In addition there have been my hard-working research assistants over the past 20 years, namely Abduragman Adams, Hannah Borthwick), Petrus du Preez, Felicity Grove, Adam Haupt, Anja Huismans, Miemie Neethling, Rebecca Smart, and Adri van der Colff, who did so much of the fetching, carrying and cataloguing of material required by this kind of project. Combined with Yvette Hutchison’s restless drive and academic acuity, Gaerin Hauptfleisch's organisational skills and voracious reading on theatre matters, and former librarian Miriam Terblanche’s invaluable experience and commitment, our internal library has become an integral and essential tool for research and creative work in the Department and the Centre, as well as for this project. They deserve a huge hand.

I would also like to thank all my students at the University of Stellenbosch, who directly and indirectly, contributed so wonderfully to the material for this book over the many years through the research projects they undertook as part of my South African Theatre courses in the Drama Department. Their work directly and indirectly contributed substantially to the data contained in material for this book over the years. I can only thank them from the bottom of my heart for their enthusiasm and dedication.

And so, finally, I come to another extraordinary person: my wife Karina Hauptfleisch, who not only lent us her formidable skills as librarian, her natural inquisitiveness and her uncanny researcher’s instincts for no pay and very little recognition over the past twenty years of creation, but in so many ways she kept me sane with her robust yet mothering sympathy and advice in times of trouble and doubt.

Temple Hauptfleisch Stellenbosch 27th June 2010

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