Doris Breytenbach

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(néé Doris Lancaster). (1921*?-1993) Long time personal assistant to P.P.B. Breytenbach and secretary of NTO. * Born and raised in England she emigrated to South Africa in the 1930s. During the war years she served as a WREN, returning to Krugersdorp, where she was involved with amateur theatre. In August 1948 she became the first full-time appointee of the National Theatre Organisation, becoming the secretary to the part time director, P.P.B. Breytenbach, at an office in Krugersdorp, moving to Pretoria in June 1950. She remained in this pivotal position till the demise of NTO in 1962. An incredibly efficient and outspoken woman, she had enormous influence through her special relationship with the director and was not always popular with everyone. After the collapse of NTO she ran a bottle store Breytenbach had acquired with his teaching pension for a number of years, as well as involving herself in numerous community and arts projects for the Rotary organisation. In 1968 she married P.P.B. Breytenbach and continued to work for theatre and Rotary alongside him. In 1971 they were appointed as founding curators of the theatre collection of the National Documentation Centre for the Performing Arts at the Human Sciences Research Council , based on their personal documents, the NTO collection and the PACT material. She was also the secretary for the Niemand Commission of inquiry into the Performing Arts in 1977. After her husband's death in 1984, she stayed on in Pretoria.


Binge, 1969, Hauptfleisch, 1985, Du Toit, 1988

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