The Abbess

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The Abbess by Athol Fugard. Based on an episode in the Life of Hildegard of Bingen, a play about the abbess *** who wrote plays in the 14th century??**.

Characters: The Abbess - Eighty-one years old. A complex and contradictory personality, alternating between the image of a frail old woman and a figure of tremendous power and authority, capable of both abject humility and high-born arrogance. Guibert - A monk, the Abbess’s secretary and confessor. Scholarly and precise. Mid-thirties. Volmar - A memory. The Abbess’s former secretary, teacher and confidant, now deceased. Mid-seventies. Great depth of character and profundity. A beautiful human being. He has been dead for fifteen years. Richardis - Also a memory. Young and beautiful. At one time the Abbess’s favourite. She has been dead about thirty years.

Written for *** and produced by ** in California in 2000. First published in the South African Theatre Journal 2005.


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