America Hurrah

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America Hurrah is a satirical play by Belgian-born American playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie (1936-2021)[1]

The original text

Premiered at the Pocket Theatre in New York City on November 7, 1966. Directed by Jacques Levy and Joseph Chaikin, the play was an early expression of the burgeoning 1960s counterculture, expressing discontent with American consumerism and involvement in the Vietnam War. It consists of three one-act plays: Interview, TV, and Motel.

Translations and adaptations

Interview was translated into Afrikaans by Johann van Heerden as Onderhoud. Public performance rights in South Africa were not allowed for political reasons, therefore the play was presented by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch to an invited audience in the H.B. Thom Theatre on 25 March 1988 only. Directed by Van Heerden, starring Adré Aucamp, Jako Voges, Perlé van Schalkwyk, Marchand de Kok, Sarah Theron, Deon de Bruyn, Tanya Swanepoel, Arnold Hoon.

Performance history in South Africa

1972: Interview was directed by Vivien Horwitz in 1972 featuring players in Workshop '71.

197*: Performed at the Little Theatre under the direction of Mavis Taylor in 197*. In the cast of Interview were Michele Maxwell, John Pitt, Sue Fish, Tony Levin, Minky Schlesinger, Vincent Ebrahim, Beverley Helsdinger and Michael Richard. The TV cast included John Pitt, Beverley Helsdinger, Tony Levin, Beverley Melnick, Michael Richard, Vincent Ebrahim, Michele Maxwell and Minky Schlesinger. Maggie Soboil, Sue Fish, Michael Richard and Beverley Melnick appeared in Motel. Costumes by Helen Rooza, lighting by Mick Wells, sound by Colin Shaw. Puppets, masks and slides designed by Peter Krummeck, puppets created and made by Toby van Eyk. Stage manager Bobby Heaney.

Mid 1980s: In the mid 1980s the play was produced by Bobby Heaney, designed by Sarah Roberts.

1988: Interview presented by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in the translation by Johann van Heerden into Afrikaans, entitled Onderhoud.


S'ketsh' Summer 1972

America Hurrah theatre programme. Little Theatre.

UTS theatre pamphlet

Copy of the typed Afrikaans translation by Van Heerden found in the Drama Department archives of Stellenbosch University.

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