Gertrude Stein and a Companion

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Gertrude Stein and a Companion is a play by Win Wells (1935–1983)[1]

The original text

A bio-drama that tells the story of the incredible relationship between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Published as Gertrude Stein and a Companion: A Play by Samuel French, 1986.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1985: Performed by the Market Theatre Company, directed by Robert Whitehead with lighting design by Wesley France and set design by Whitehead and France. The role of Gertrude Stein was played by Janice Honeyman and that of Alice B. Toklas by Vanessa Cooke.

1996: Performed by CAPAB Drama at the Nico Arena, directed by Roy Sargeant, with design was by Michael Mitchell and lighting by Malcolm Hurrell. Diane Wilson portrayed Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas was played by Mary Dreyer.

2018: Performed by Shirley Johnston (as Gertrude Stein) and Lynita Crofford (as Alice B Toklas), directed by Chris Weare. The play opened at the Alexander Bar and Café then played at other venues, including The Drama Factory, Somerset West (14 and 15 September), and Alexander Bar and Café one more (8-20 October).

2019: The 2018 production was invited to the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival, where Lynita Crofford received an award for the best female performance. The production was thereafter performed at the Theatre on the Square, Sandton, in November, with Lynita Crofford and Shirley Johnston jointly receiving the 2019 Naledi-award for the best female performer.

2022: Following a two-year lockdown period for South Africa in response to the COVID-19 pandemic[2], the production was revived and once again performed to rave reviews at the Theatre on the Bay from 1 to 5 February, directed by Chris Weare with Shirley Johnston (as Gertrude Stein) and Lynita Crofford (as Alice B Toklas).


Ruphin Coudyzer. 2023. Annotated list of his photographs of Market Theatre productions. (Provided by Coudyzer)

Gertrude Stein and a Companion theatre programmes 1985 and 1996.

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