Lara Bye

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lara Bye (19*-) is a South African actress and theatre director.


Born in Durban.



Bye holds: A BA degree in Drama, English and Anthropology from the University of Natal; An Honours degree in Drama and a Masters Degree in Theatre Directing from the University of Cape Town; A two-year Diploma from the L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris [1].


Since graduating Lara Bye has worked in theatre in South Africa, Havana, Paris and Barcelona. She lectured in Physical Theatre at the University of Cape Town Drama Department in 2010.

Since returning to South Africa from Europe, Lara has worked continuously on all aspects of the theatre as producer, writer, actress and teacher. She has won theatre awards as an actress and director for her work in Dancing at Lughnasa, The Comical Tragedy and Everybody Else (is fucking perfect). Her production of Jesus Hopped the A-Train was the second most nominated production at the 2006 Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards.

She was selected by Fair Lady magazine [2] as one of 40 South African Women who had been a source of inspiration for the year 2000 and was judged by Style [3] magazine to be the South African "IT" Actress for 2001. These last two acknowledgements were for her performance in the critically acclaimed The Vagina Monologues.

After training the the Lecoq School in Paris Lara was invited to join The International Theatre Collective for a cultural exchange in Havana, Cuba. The company lived with a Cuban family for 7 months, running workshops, collaborating with Cuban artists and witnessing their work, as well as devising a new show based on their experiences. She returned to Europe to join Bantam Theatre Company in Barcelona for a year.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Co-founder of the Cape Town based company Theatre Bazaar (with Gaë­tan Schmid) in 200*.

Started the Playground series of performed play readings with Mannie Manim at the Baxter Theatre.

As Stage Director

Productions as director include: How Table Mountain got it's Cloud, 1989,London Road (2010); La scala di seta (2009); Sister Breyani (2009); Iago's Last Dance (2009); Yellow Man (2008); La serva padrona (2008); I, Claudia (2008 & 2010); Die Vrou Wat Haar Man Gekook Het, (KKNK, 2007); Is Almal Dan Fokken Volmaak? (2007); Bafana Republic (2007); Beklash (2007); Orfeus, co-directed with Brett Bailey for Third World Bunfight (2006); Medea (2005) co-directed with Brett Bailey for Third World Bunfight; Jesus Hopped the A-Train; The Government Inspector; Bethesda Moon; A Place with the Pigs (2006); For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf; The Comical Tragedy; The Lesson; The Dumb Waiter; The Vagina Monologues; The Dream Circus;


Appearances in feature films include: Motel clerk in From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999) [4]; Laura Covington in The All New Adventures of Laurel & Hardy in 'For Love or Mummy' (1999); Brothel Madame in The Diamond Hunters (2001 TV mini-series); Country of my Skull (***);


Presenter for M-Net's Exploring Southern Africa travel programme.

Mark Lottering and Friends – Comedy Sketch Show

Lara has appeared in several local and international television commercials.

Awards, etc

Yellow Man - KKNK Best Production Award, Best Newcomer Award and Best Actress Fleur du Cap Award

2008 La Serva Padrona- nominated as Best Director & Best Musical Production KKNK

Won the Rosalie van der Gucht Prize for New Directors in 2000.


CAPAB Brochure, Aug-Nov 1989.

Die Burger, 23 January 2008.

Text of London Road, published by Junkets Publisher (2010).

Go to South African Theatre/Bibliography

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities B

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page