South African Theatre/Terminology and Thematic Entries
The terminology used in discussing theatre is particularly complex and confusing at times, greatly influenced by regional and sociocultural context. So European and American theatrical terms do not always correspond, while literary scholars and theatre practitioners employ radically different terms for the same thing, or may attach totally dissimilar meanings to the same term. South Africa has its own share of idiolectic variations and the terminology discussed in this section refers specifically to current or historic usage in South Africa. Naturally readers are warned that terms may change radically in meaning over time.
However, please note that this encyclopaedia does not set out to define general theatre terms. This is done excellently in a number of well–known companions, encyclopaedias and dictionaries and on the internet. The bilingual Afrikaans/English Teaterwoordeboek Theatrical Dictionary (1977) does the same for Afrikaans. Naturally there are certain terms that have specific relevance to or meaning in South Africa and they will be discussed as required (e.g. “alternative theatre”, “township musical” , “kabaret/cabaret”, “ntsomi”, “bioscope”, “toyi-toyi”, etc. ), but there are also general terms which need to be clarified for readers of this companion, since we have used them in specific ways.
A number of other terms and expressions specifically relating to influential social and political practices peculiar to South Africa are included in Section 4 (The South African Context/Terminology and Thematic Entries), to help readers and researchers contextualize theatrical matters. Terms include such issues as Apartheid, the Group Areas Act, the Immorality Act, shebeen, the African National Congress, and Afrikaner, and the ten indigenous languages (Afrikaans, Sotho, Xhosa, etc).
For further information on Theatre terms
For information on the bibliographic conventions used in ESAT, go to:
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Some items are listed under dates or numbers. To see the list (arranged numerically), click on #Numbers or dates. (Please note: This is one integrated list for theatre, film and media entries using a numeral as first "word" in the title.)
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