Deon Opperman

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Deon Opperman (1962-). Playwright, director, actor.


He studied at Rhodes University Drama Department.

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

Contracted as actor and assistant literary adviser at PACOFS in 1984.

Deon made a dramatic appearance on the theatrical scene at the first ATKV Kampustoneel playwriting festival, where his seemingly arrogant attacks on the work of established writers first seemed to alienate the audiences, until his own debut work Môre is 'n Lang Dag ("Tomorrow is a long day"), which he wrote, directed and performed in, stunned them into silence. Now hailed as a genius and in many respects the spokesperson for the new generation of Afrikaans dramatists, he went on to write a string of plays, many of them successes despite the speed of production and a rather slapdash approach to plot construction.

From Midnight to Morning was the second play he wrote professionally.

In 199* he went to the USA on a bursary to study film and returned to found AFDA in 199*, to train scriptwriters and playwrights, focussing on commercial work rather than literary work. He continued his own writing as well, producing one or two throughtprovoking pieces alongside very slight, commercial work. In 2003 he sold his share in it and returned to playwriting??**. His best work includes Die Teken, **, **, Stille Nag (winner Fleur du Cap Award for Best New Indigenous Script 1990), ***, Donkerland (1996), Boesman, My Seun (19**), Magspel (1999), **Kaburu (2007) . Has also written a number of good one-person plays for various performers, including Goya (199* for ***), Dear Mrs Steyn (1990, for Wilna Snyman) and Sweet Sorrows (19** , for Wilna Snyman).

His Môre is 'n Lang Dag was staged at Upstairs at the Market in January 1985. He wrote and directed Stille Nag for PACT at the Adcock-Ingram Theatre in 1989. He wrote and directed Dear Mrs Steyn at the Windybrow in October 1990. Together with Garth Holmes he wrote Playboys for Pieter Toerien in 1990.

Die Teken deur Deon Opperman by Upstairs by die Mark met Wilna Snyman. Ook Stille Nag van hom. Later ook Dear Mrs Steyn en Sweet Sorrows. Vere, 2001. Môre is 'n Lang Dag, Innibos-fees, 2008. Albert Maritz (Regiseur) Stille Nag van hom. Later ook Dear Mrs Steyn en Sweet Sorrows.

Ons vir Jou (Musical, 2012?), Die Skepping Oratorium (with Janine Neethling, 2013).

He directed NAPAC productions of his own play Women in the Wings and Great Expectations.

Awards, etc.

Winner of many awards, including the Eugène Marais Award and the Hertzog Award for Drama (2006).


From Midnight to Morning programme notes, 1984.

Tucker, 1997.

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