Schalk Theron

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Schalk Theron (1912-2015) was a civil servant, conservationist, and actor, playwright, director and theatre administrator.


Born Schalk Willem Theron on 2 September 1912, the second child of the headmaster of Mooirivier Primary School in Potchefstroom, and matriculated in 1931, during the depression years, and was initially unemployed for three years.

In 1935 he joined the civil service and subsequently worked in the departments of Native Affairs, Education and Bantu Affairs in various cities in the Union of South Africa, including Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.

In 1964 he joined the newly founded Performing Arts Council of the Orange Free State (PACOFS) as the founding head of drama, later taking over as Director, a position he retained till his retirement.

When Theron retired in 1978 he moved to Oubos in the Eastern Cape, where he kept himself busy with nature conservation matters in the Tsitsikama National Park, becoming the first unofficial honorary ranger of SANParks.

He had never married and at the age of 99 he changed his will to found a trust, known today as the Schalk Theron Trust, with all proceeds being used to benefit students in nature conservation through bursaries.

Theron passed away at the age of 103 in 2015.

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

In 1939 Theron and some friends (including Dirk de Villiers) formed the Sonop Afrikaner Kring, which in turn led on to the founding of JAATS (Johannesburg Afrikaanse Amateur Spelers), an influential amateur theatrical society for which he was an active playwright, actor and director.

In his early years he wrote some plays (among them Die Goue Tempel, 1942) and translated a few into Afrikaans, including Strindberg's Fadren (as Die Vader).

His roles as actor included "Gravedigger 1" in the production in Afrikaans of Hamlet (1947), "Luke" in Die Buffel (Chekhov, FATSSA Play Festival 1951), The Happiest Days of Your Life, Die Spaanse Vlieg, Die Laaste van die Takhare, Die Kaskenades van Dokter Kwak, Die Barretts van Wimpolestraat (Bloemfontein 1953), Ampie (PACOFS 1982).

As director he did Die Ongeluksvoël (for Sonop Afrikaner Kring), and Verkiesing Sonder Politiek!, Die Gebreekte Kruik (1953) for JAATS. He acted in Gelukkige Dae in Bloemfontein in 1953 and directed a NTO production of the play in 1955. He directed and acted in a PACOFS production of Die Laaste van die Takhare in 1969.

He also acted in a couple of films, such as in Die Spaanse Vlieg as “Alwyn” in 1978, and did some TV and radio work. Roles included "Mankadan" in Simon Beyers (late 1940s).

In 1964, while working , he was appointed by the then administrator of the Orange Free State, Sand du Plessis, as the founding head of drama of PACOFS (the Performing Arts Council of the Orange Free State) in 1964, succeeding Rex Hugo as Director of the council, retiring in 1978.


Die Volksblad, 16 July 1992.

Myron Rabinowitz. 2018. "Who was Schalk Willem Theron?" George Herald, Thursday, 04 October[1]

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities T

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page