ESAT Chronology

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A contextualized chronology of South African theatre and performance

Compiled by Temple Hauptfleisch


The aim of this section of ESAT is simply to provide readers with a time-line for the events listed in the various entries, and more particularly to provide some kind of historical contexts for the various events and processes that going to make up the totality of South African theatre and performance history.

In order to do so, key theatre and performance events are listed in conjunction with selected cultural and artistic social, cultural, political, scientific and other events from across the globe. Links are then provided to the appropriate theatre, film, media and performance entries in the main body of the encyclopaedia.

Some other useful timelines and chronology lists

"Towards a people’s culture, Art and Resistance under apartheid", South African History Online[1]

Structure and use


The chronology (theoretically) refers to the whole period from the creation of the world till today. However, as most of the data available at this point still comes from the first and second millenia AD, the emphasis is naturally on those periods. To simplify searches the entries are broken down into nine broad time-periods in the section The Chronology below. Click on the required period to access the entries per year.

Key to entries

All items in "italics" refer to international (i.e. non-South African), non-theatrical events; while items in "bold italics" refer to international theatre and performance events.

Items in "normal text" indicate South African non-theatrical events and activities; while items in "bold normal text " indicate South African theatre and performance events.

The Chronology

Click on the period you are looking for.


First Millenium AD

Eleventh to Fifteenth Centuries

Sixteenth century

Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century

Nineteenth Century

Twentieth Century

Twenty-first Century

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