South African Theatre – Four Plays and an Introduction

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South African Theatre – Four Plays and an Introduction is a multicultural collection of representative plays, edited and introduced by Temple Hauptfleisch and Ian Steadman.

First published in 1984 by De Jager-HAUM, Pretoria, this is the first collection of South African plays to overtly acknowledge the complex cross-cultural nature of South African theatre, and to introduce the idea of a more encompassing theatrical system in the country. The authors categorized the theatrical system in the country as consisting of a number of sub-systems, including what they refer to as English Theatre, Afrikaans Theatre, Black Theatre and Alternative Theatre. Though often debated, this initial categorization did much to shift the emphasis in drama teaching and theatre training away from the narrow focus on linguistic and cultural identities, to a consideration of the larger whole.

Besides substantial introductions to each of the sub-systems, the collection contains four illustrative plays: Bartho Smit's Christine (translated from the Afrikaans by Walter Greyvenstein), Athol Fugard's Hello and Goodbye, Maishe Maponya's The Hungry Earth and Cincinatti – Scenes from City Life, a workshop play by Barney Simon and company.

The volume also contains a chronology of South African social, political and cultural events up till 1983.


Text of South African Theatre – Four Plays and an Introduction, De Jager-HAUM, 1984

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