University of Natal, Department of Speech and Drama

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In 1949 the University of Natal was the first South African university to accept Speech and Drama for BA degree purposes. Founded by Elizabeth Sneddon, the Department enrolled 7 students in 1951. Sneddon's syllabus, devised after research in Britain and America, was adopted by departments in other institutions. Alumni who were to be appointed Professors and/or Heads include Roger Orton, David Horner, Devi Bughwan, Lynn Dalrymple, Ian Steadman, Dennis Schauffer, Francois Swart, Gary Gordon, Fred Hagemann, Yvonne Banning, Carel Trichardt and, as successors to Sneddon, Pieter Scholtz (1973-1995) and Mervyn McMurtry (1996-). In Canada, America, Britain and Australia, Azra Francis, Peter Larlham, Michael Barclay, Di James, Robert Gordon and David Ritchie hold similar positions. Performers include Mary Peach, Louis Burke, Carel Trichardt, Ann Wakefield, Lyn Hooker, Eckard Rabe, Dorothy-Ann Gould, Ellis Pearson, Brenda Radloff and, for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Richard Haines and Paul Spence. After extensive revisions to the syllabus, the Department's designation became the Department of Drama and Performance Studies in 1996.


McMurtry 2002.

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