The word refers to a management position in the entertainment industry, but has also been used as the name of a TV documentary series on the theatre industry in South Africa.
the impresario as a personage in theatre
A director of entertainments, one who finances and directly participates in running entertainments. While apparently used of individuals in the more formal forms (ballet and opera) in Britain and Europe, the term is more commonly applied to the person responsible for the financial and management side of popular musical and other lighter commercial forms of entertainment in South Africa.
Prominent local "impresarios" of the late 19th century and the 20th century would include Luscombe Searelle, Harry Stodel and his sons, I.W. Schlesinger, Bertha Slosberg, Ike Brookes, Alfred Herbert, Griffiths Motsieloa, Brian Brooke, the team of Joan Brickhill and Louis Burke, the Quibell Brothers, Taubie Kushlick, Pieter Toerien, Richard Loring, David Kramer and Mbongeni Ngema.
Impresario: The local production company
Not to be confused with similarly named companies elsewhere, e.g. in America and India
Founded in 1998 by Albert Maritz as Impresario (though trading as Allie-se-Produksies), to produce musical shows (his clients have included Johannes Kerkorrel, Koos Kombuis, Nataniël and The Jazz Pioneers), formal theatre projects and theatre for development programmes.
The website says that Impresario facilitates performing arts by promoting South African artists in all media, developing education through entertainment and taking arts to the people.
Stage productions comprise successful one-man shows for Frank Opperman, Ian Roberts, Marion Holm and others, as well as a series of important revivals of classic South African texts, including D.J. Opperman's Joernaal van Jorik (1987), Adam Small's Kanna hy kô Hystoe (2003), Melt Brink's Maljan onder die Hoenders (2003), Nico Burger’s Botspoppe (2004), Pieter Fourie's Faan se Trein, (2005) and Faan se Stasie (2006), Chris Barnard's Taraboemdery (2010), P.G. du Plessis's 'n Seder val in Waterkloof (2011), Pieter Fourie's Mooi Maria (2011), Chris Barnard's Die Rebellie van Lafras Verwey (2011), Pieter-Dirk Uys's Die Van Aardes van Grootoor (2013), Athol Fugard's Playland (in Afrikaans, 2014), Chris Barnard's Pa, Maak vir my 'n Vlieër Pa (2016-17), P.G. du Plessis's Die Nag van Legio (2017).
Impresario: The documentary TV series
A 2009 Afrikaans documentary series (consisting of 17 episodes with interviews with prominent individuals ) about the South African theatre and television industry, created and produced by Albert Maritz and Neil Sandilands. Broadcast on KykNet
Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays
Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page