Bloemfontein Repertory Society

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Founding and development

Founded in Bloemfontein in 1935, the Society put on 25 plays before World War II, and by the 1960s the membership numbered 1600 and they were doing 5 productions annually. The advent of PACOFS in the mid 1960s meant that the Reps (like the Bloemfontein Shakespeare Circle) on occasion collaborated with the state funded Performing Arts Council to stage larger scale productions. By the 1990s the society itself tended towards musicals rather than straight theatre.

Post war venues used

Post-war venues included the Jewish Communal Hall, the Grand Theatre, the Bloemfontein Civic Theatre and the Observatory Theatre.

Plays produced

Plays varied greatly and included works such as The School for Wives (Moliere), Our Town, (Wilder), Hayfever (Coward) and The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-moon Marigolds (Paul Zindell), Move Over Mrs. Markham (Cooney and Chapman), The Late Edwina Black ( Dinnie and Murum), Children of the Wolf (Peacock), and Dusa, Fish, Stas and Vi, Hay Fever (Coward), The Pajama Game (Abbott and Bissell), The Enquiry (Hastings), Busybody Popplewell), The Shadow Box (Cristofer), Ghosts (Ibsen),

Directors and players

Among the directors among the members have been Marlene Kotzen, David Tanton, Braam Muller, George Prosser, Freda Levin

They often also used professional directors, and these included Leontine Sagan, Victor Melleney, John Boulter, Robert del Kyrke, Ricky Arden, Desmond Hughes, Geoffrey Hyland

Besides those mentioned as directors, amateurs (members and non-members) who performed and served as backstage staff for them over the years have included Annette Dubovsky, Kathleen Marquard, Dawie Marquard, Hudson Earp, Temple Hauptfleisch, Val Lamont-Smith, Gisele Rice, Otto Bohlmann


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