For the purposes of this encyclopaedia, Afrikaans Theatre (Afrikaanse Teater or Afrikaanse Toneel) normally refers to theatrical work and performances created and staged in Afrikaans by South Africans. This may include Afrikaans language translations of texts from other languages.
More specifically the term can refer to:
1. The large body of theatrical work published and/or performed in the language of Afrikaans (or at least predominantly in Afrikaans, for the late 20th century saw the rise of many multilingual and/or cross-cultural plays, films, TV programmes, etc.). This in many instances includes foreign works in Afrikaans translation.
2. The specific and separate Afrikaans theatre system which (as a sub-system of the overarching South Africantheatre system or theatre industry, encompasses not only the particular works and their publication and performance, but also the performers, the directors, the designers and all other supporting administrative systems, including the audiences, the festivals, the critical systems and so on. Though not a formally constituted entity, the notion of some kind of Afrikaans theatre system, which differs from other theatre systems, (e.g. the Dutch, English, French, German, Sotho, Zulu, Xhosa, and so on), has existed from the late 19th century, and is still generally accepted today - despite the ostensible "democratization" of the South African rainbow nation. The concept of a language specific has at times of course been a means of exclusion (the Dutch and/or Afrikaans by the English and vice versa; the Xhosa by the English and Afrikaans systems, and vice versa. However, it has also been a source of intense cultural pride and of creativity within each of those communities.
See also Afrikaans
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