Sandra Prinsloo

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Sandra Prinsloo (1947- ) [1]. Actress on stage, film and television, director and producer.

Biography

Training

Took ballet classes from an early age, and after matriculating from Afrikaans Meisies Hoërskool, Pretoria, she completed her BA Honours in Drama at the University of Pretoria Drama Department in 1967, joining PACT’s Afrikaans acting company during this same year.

Career

She joined PACT’s Afrikaans acting company after graduating and remained there until the Market Theatre opened in Johannesburg seven years later, and, after performing in this theatre’s two opening productions, embarked on a freelance career.

Soon established as one the leading actresses of her generation, playing lead roles in ***, ***, - very often with Marius Weyers as the leading actor.

Jumped to public attention under the direction of Francois Swart with her award-winning portrayal (**??) of “Tiemie” in the hugely celebrated Siener in die Suburbs in 1971.

Also worked for independent companies from time to time, including Pieter Toerien (Black**, ??), the Market Theatre (including Barney Simon’s productions of the Marat/Sade in 1976, The Seagull in 1976 and Vroue van Troje - “Women of Troy” - in 198*) and the Baxter Theatre (**).

Prinsloo’s stage and film career spans a period of 45 years. During this time she has performed leading roles in the plays of renowned dramatists – both local and international – totalling over 100 different productions to date. She has also successfully tried her hand at directing, and as a television host; and has won a host of national and international awards in recognition of her skills.

Besides Sandra Prinsloo's popularity as an actress and artist, her career has not been without controversy, and her involvement with and concern for the racial situation in South Africa is well known beyond the borders of this country. Her appearance in the title role of Miss Julie opposite black actor John Kani in 1985 was met with bomb threats and violent assaults. She was the first South African white actress to appear on stage in love scenes with a black actor and as a result, was ostracised by many of her countrymen.

In 1986 she was surrounded by controversy and attacked by white Afrikaner conservatives when she played Miss Julie opposite John Kani in Bobby Heaney’s ground-breaking interracial production of Strindberg’s haunting play for the Baxter Theatre Company?? Similar controversy surrounded her portrayal of Kato in Fluit vir die Vlieë (***, 1987). ***. ***,

In the 1990s she started an very successful industrial theatre company, as well as taking up directing.

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

Her leading roles in theatre include: The Merchant of Venice, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Winter's Tale, Marat/Sade, Hedda Gabler, Siener in die Suburbs, Christine, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard (as “Madame Ranyevskaia” in 1978 with the Baxter Company), Absurd Person Singular, Night and Day, Anastasia, The Seagull, Miss Julie, People are Living There, 'n Koffer in die Kas (1993), Amy's View (1999), Collected Stories (2000); and she will soon be starring in Breath of Life (a West End production with Dame Judy Dench and Maggie Smith).

She starred in an Afrikaans translation of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler directed by François Swart for PACT in 1974. She starred in François Swart’s Afrikaans production of Othello for PACT with Louis van Niekerk and Marius Weyers in 1975. She starred in Barney Simon’s production of Chekhov’s The Seagull at Upstairs at the Market in June 1976 with Vanessa Cooke, Erica Rogers, Bill Brewer, Marius Weyers, Danny Keogh, Lindsay Reardon and Bess Finney. She starred in The Company’s production of Peter WeissMarat/Sade aka The Persecution of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade for the official opening of the Market Theatre on 19 October 1976. It was directed by Barney Simon and also starred Wilson Dunster and Kenneth Hendel. She starred in Barney Simon’s production of an Afrikaans translation of The Women of Troy together with Aletta Bezuidenhout, Grethe Fox, Jana Cilliers and Wilna Snyman at the Market Theatre in 1977. She starred in Tom Stoppard’s Night and Day with Tony Anhalt at the André Huguenet Theatre in 1979. She starred in PACT’s production of Macbeth with Ron Smerczak under direction by Leonard Schach at the Alexander Theatre in 1980. She starred in the PACT production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, directed by William Egan, together with Ron Smerczak and Thoko Ntshinga in 1981. Theodora, 1981 Staatsteater, Pta. Marius Weyers. She starred in William Egan’s production of an Afrikaans translation of The Taming of the Shrew called Die Vasvat van 'n Feeks together with Marius Weyers for PACT at the Pretoria State Theatre in February 1983 which then went to the Alexander Theatre in March. Memoir (1984). She starred in Bobby Heaney’s production of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie together with John Kani. It originated at the Baxter Theatre and went to the Market Theatre in February 1985. She starred in an Afrikaans translation of Hamlet for TRUK at the State Theatre and the Roodepoort Civic in 1987. She starred in Double Double at the André Huguenet Theatre in 1987. She starred in Bobby Heaney production of William Shakespeare’s The Winter's Tale in 1988.

She starred in Ilse van Hemert’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull at the Adcock-Ingram in 1990. She starred in Macbeth under Dieter Reible’s direction in 1990. Op soek na Generaal Mannetjies Mentz (Aardklop, 1999), ***

Siener in die Suburbs, P.G. du Plessis, directed by Chris Vorster, KKNK, 2002 Started at Nico Malan Theatre, CAPAB, then State Theatre, Pta.


Another award-winning performance came in 2009 with Rachelle Greeff’s Die Naaimasjien, a one-woman tour-de-force. This went to the Edinburgh Festival in 2011? as The Sewing Machine.

In August 2012, Prinsloo performed The Sewing Machine (Die Naaimasjien) at the Edinburgh Festival with huge success.

She subsequently toured the country with her new one woman play Oskar en die Pienk Tannie - a heart warming tale about a ten year old cancer patient, directed by Lara Bye;

She was also seen as the legendary Anna Neethling-Pohl, in the play Liefde, Anna (2012-2013).

As director

She directed Pure as the Driven Slush (the Youth Theatre, 1992); Groet die Grotman (with Hannes Muller, 2005), .


Film and television work

A fine film actress, she has been in numerous South African and international productions. Among these are Siener in die Suburbs (19**), **, ** Taxi to Soweto, and the internationally renowned The Gods must be Crazy by Jamie Uys.

Her television roles include a ***, *** and ***. ***

Awards=

Won Gallery Club Actress of the Year in 1969 for her performance as “Eurydike” in Kringloop van die Liefde.

Won Actress of the Year 1972 for her performance in Maria Stuart.

Won Gallery Club Award in 1978 for Marat/Sade.

Also won awards for her television work.

Together with Marius Weyers she won best Afrikaans actor/actress award for her role in P.G. du Plessis’s Siener in die Suburbs which was staged by PACT in 1971. It was directed by François Swart.

She won the Computicket Award for Fluit Vir die Vlieë.

Nominee 1991 Prinsloo, Sandra for Kombuis Blues (Breytenbach Epathlon for best director);

University of Pretoria's Chancellor's Award 8 September 2011


Sources

SACD 1974; 1977/78; 1978/79.

Tucker, 1997.

Beeld 5 November 1999.

Winner Profiles - 2013 ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards. Issued by The Famous Idea Trading Company [info@thefamousidea.co.za] on 2013/11/09.

"Behind the Icon – Sandra Prinsloo: Leading lady" City Press, 21 December 2014 [2].

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