Leonie Pienaar

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Leonie Pienaar(1904-) was a bilingual actress, director and voice teacher.

Her first name sometimes written Leoni Pienaar, she was also known as Mev L. le Roux (Mrs L. le Roux).


Her half-sister is the actress Trix Pienaar.


She started her career in Cape Town as a student at the South African College of Music. She then went to Worcester where she directed three-monthly English productions for the Worcester Social and Dramatic Club. In 1933 she moved to Pretoria, where she did a number of productions with her own company (Leonie Pienaar Geselskap), acting and directing, many rehearsals taking place in a house owned by Nunez Holzhausen (corner of Beatrix and Pretorius streets). In 1935 she became one of the co-founders of Ons Teatertjie ("Our Little Theatre" - later renamed Volksteater), doing a great deal of work for them as director and actress.

In 1937 she married and moved back to Cape Town, to later directing students in the Little Theatre for UCT and productions for K.A.T.

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

She did productions for the Worcester Social and Dramatic Club (including A Bill of Divorcement, Tons of Money, I'll Leave it to you and The Patsy.) For the local Afrikaans cultural society, the Worcesterse Kultuurvereniging, she did Die Drie Van Der Walts in 1934. Productions in Pretoria included Die Veroweraar (Simons-Mees), Sakke Vol Geld (Evans and Valentine), **. Work for Ons Teatertjie as director and actress include Ibsen's Boumeester Solness (1935), J.F.W. Grosskopf's Die Peswolk and In die Wagkamer (1936), H.A. Fagan's Ousus (1936), ***.

As translator

She translated several plays into Afrikaans, including The Starlight Express as Deur 'n Skrefie, Tons of Money as Sakke Vol Geld, High Backed Chair as Die Stoel met die Hoë Rug, Three Young Ladies in a Temper, Sixteen, entitled Sestien, The Refund as Loop Vra Jou Skoolgeld and Die Arrestasie, translated from a one-act play by F.M. Howard.

As actress

She acted in productions of Die Laaste Aand (1941), Die Hoogste Reg (1946), Mademoiselle (as Mademoiselle) (1948).

As director and/or producer

Die Veroweraar (1933/34 and 1940), Hantie kom Huistoe (1936), Die Peswolk (1936), In die Wagkamer (1936), Suster Beatrys (1937), Die Arrestasie by Uys Krige (1938), Moenie Breek Nie (1940), Tonie en Anna (1944), Die Dae van Jou Lewe (1946), Die Laaste Aand (1947), As die tuig skawe (September 1948), Hellersee (1948), 'n Blommetjie vir Ans (1949), Exodus (1949), Salomé Dans! (1951), Die Twisappel (1955), The Intruder at the Little Theatre, Cape Town, in September 1956.

She acted in some of these productions.

As educator

She wrote some of the first books in Afrikaans on speech and drama, including Koorspraak vir Almal. 'n Handleiding ("Choral speaking for everyone. A Manual"). Published (under the name Leonie E. Pienaar) by Haum, Cape Town, South Africa, 1968.

Awards, etc


Ludwig Wilhelm Berthold Binge 1969. Ontwikkeling van die Afrikaanse toneel (1832-1950). Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik. See Binge

P.J. du Toit 1988. Amateurtoneel in Suid-Afrika. Pretoria: Academica

Interview with Trix Pienaar, Beeld, 3 October 1995.

[TH; JH]

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