Oefening Baart Kunst

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Oefening Baart Kunst ("Practice produces Art"): Pretoria, 1891 – 1899. An amateur theatrical society founded in Pretoria in 1891, aiming to maintain and enhance the Dutch language in Pretoria. They had their first production in April 1891 and focused on serious (melodramatic) plays, such as Janus Tulp (by Justus van Maurik Jr, October 1891), De Drie Hoeden ("The three hats" by Hennequin, tr. by Wijstok - December 1891), Pappa gaf Permissie ("Father gives permission" by C.F. van der Brugghen - March 1892), Het Testament van Oom Jan ("Uncle Jan's will" by Alexander Dandois - March 1892) and De Bibliothekaris ("The Librarian" by von Moser). The society's last production, De Dochters van Haseman ("The daughters of Haseman" by Adolf l’Arronge), was also considered to be its best.

Performances were held in the President Theatre. Some key actors included: U. Jansen, A. Berger, M.C. van Driel and C. Bietz. P.J. du Toit (1988 - following F.C.L. Bosman, 1980), says it was defunct by 1893, but the company’s successful run definitely came to an end with the start of the Anglo-Boer War in 1899, ostensibly because of the competition from English café concerts and other entertainments.

Sources

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

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p.485.

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

Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg.

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