Anlen Marais

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Anlen Marais (1953- ) is a writer, poet, playwright, director and painter.


Born Anlen Elisabeth Jordaan in 1953, she grew up in Fort Beaufort in die Eastern Cape, completing her matric there. Her father was a member of the security police and her mother a lecturer in English and Latin at the University College of Fort Hare.

She continued her studies at the University of Stellenbosch, completing a BA en BA Honours. In this time she became a member of D.J. Opperman's famous Letterkundige Laboratorium ("literary laboratory").

After completing an education diploma in 1977, she taught at various schools (1978-1983).

She made her debut as poet in and her first collection of poetry, Die Wolf in die Blare ("The Wolf in the Leaves") was published in 1988. Her second collection, muur van berge ("wall of mountains") was published by Tafelberg Uitgewers in 1999.

She has also written a number of published short stories.

In 2003 the Port Elizabethse Afrikaanse Amateur Toneelvereniging (PEAAT) honoured her for her contribution to Afrikaans by putting on a play called Die Storieboom, a reflection on her writing.

Anlen is married to A. Marais and the couple have one son, Ernst.

Contribution to South African theatre, film, media and performance

In 1985 she attended a playwriting workshop run by Nico Luwes for the ATKV and went on two write a number of stage plays and radio plays, both in Afrikaans and in English. These include:


Wittakker se Laaste Trippie (1989), Die Passie van Onse Heer (1991), Die Seuns van Jonathan (1992), Koer-koer (1993), Horiesô, Madiba (1995) and Noah was his Name (1995).


Dear Miester Mandela (regional winner of the BBC World Service drama competition for Africa and the Middle East), The Medic

She also co-authored the series Moeder Aarde ("Mother Earth") with Patricia Smith, a programme about environmental awareness broadcast on the SABC's Afrikaans children's programme, Siembamba (1992-1995).

Workshops and other contributions

In 1998 she took part in the University of Port Elizabeth's writing workshop (in charge of radio and stage drama), and also presented a radio drama workshop in Graaff-Reinet for the Department of Arts and Culture.


Erika Terblanche. 2020. Anlen Marais (1953–), LitNet-Skrywersalbum:2020-01-08[1]

A copy of the typed text of Wittakker se Laaste Trippie, found in the Stellenbosch Drama Department archives in 2022.

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