Herman Pretorius

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Herman Pretorius (1948-) is a voice artist, stage and radio actor, director and cabaret director, poet and dramatist.

(His name has on occasion been written Hermann Pretorius, as in the programme of the 1969 production of Die Pluimsaad Waai Vêr)


Born Hermanus Petrus Pretorius, he trained in Afrikaans literature and drama at the University of Stellenbosch. School teacher, drama lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of Stellenbosch (197*-1978) and head of the Department of Drama at the same University (1979?-1995).

Acted in a number of stage works in the early years, performed in an enormous range of radio dramas, and did some film and TV work.

Besides his role as the long term head of the Stellenbosch University Drama Department, his most prominent and lasting creative contribution to theatre in South Africa was his role in the establishment of Afrikaans political kabarets (“cabarets”) as a force in the cultural struggle of the 1980s. He is particularly remembered for directing the early kabarets of Hennie Aucamp, including **.

He also translated and wrote some plays for student productions, among them **.

As an academic wrote on drama and theatre in education (M.Ed, University of Stellenbosch, 19**), Kabaret/Cabaret (SATJ, 199*) and South African political theatre (D.Litt., University of Pretoria, 1995). An active founder-member of SAADYT and the development of theatre and drama in education in South Africa.

A series of CV's (displayed on the Australian website www.bestsemester.com) claim - incorrectly - that "(h)is academic achievements include setting up a Research Centre for Theatre and South African theatre data base to support research. He also initiated and contributed to an internationally accredited publication, the South African Theatre Journal (SATJ) ...He was co-founder and editor of the South African Theatre Journal. "[1]. Both these activities were in actual fact initiated and managed by a former South African colleague not Pretorius.

He left South Africa with his family in 1996 to settle in New Zealand.

His career in Australia

After living in New Zealand for a few years, Pretorius moved to Australia in 2001 to become the artistic director of The Street Theatre in Acton, Australia - where he directed a number of plays - and in 2007 joined the Wesley Institute at Drummoyne, New South Wales, as Head of Drama.

For information on his work in Australia as teacher, actor, designer, dialect coach or director, etc, see for instance the AusStage website[2] and for his career at the Wesley Institute (now known as Excelsia College) , see their Course Guide for 2015[3]




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