Réné Juta (1877-1940) was an author, amateur actress and playwright.
(1877 Cape Town ‑1940) Author. René Juta was the eldest daughter of Sir Henry and Lady Juta, and sister of well known artist, designer and author Jan Juta who illustrated her guide entitled The Cape Peninsula (1910) and collaborated with her on travel books entitled Concerning Corsica (1926) and Cannes and the Hills (1928). She wrote novels entitled The Masque of the Silver Trees (1909), The Tavern (1920, based on the life of James Barry) and Jack in the Green (1935). Born in Cape Town, the eldest daughter of Sir Henry and Lady Juta, and sister of well known artist, designer and author Jan Juta daughter of Sir Henry Juta and Lady Helena Lena Juta (born Tait), the sister of South African born artist and author Jan Juta (1895-1990) and three other siblings.
She wrote a number of guides and travelogues, including The Cape Peninsula Pen and Colour Sketches (with W. Westhofen, 1910) , Concerning Corsica (1926) and Cannes and the Hills (1928). She also wrote novels among which The Tavern (1920, based on the life of James Barry) and Jack in the Green (1935).
She married Luke Hansard, mother of Jillian Hansard. After her divorce Hansard, she lived in the south of France where she passed away shortly after the German occupation.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
1890s: In one of the early amateur productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream in South Africa, she and Rudyard Kipling, along with her other sisters and family servants, entertained Cecil John Rhodes by performing scenes from the play on the slopes of Devil's Peak in the 1890s.
In 1909, inspired by the grand preparations in Cape Town for a national pageant intended to inaugurate the newly-forged Union of South Africa in 1910, she composed an outdoor pageant, the The Masque of the Silver Trees (published by J.C. Juta and Co); a neo-classical quasi-Jacobean performance. (ESAACH refers to it as "a novel").
Jan Juta. 1972. Background in Sunshine: Memories of South Africa. New York: Charles Scribner‟s Sons: p.52.
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