Janet Buckland

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Janet Buckland (born circa 1954). Director, lecturer and playwright.


Born Janet Connor. She is married to the actor Andrew Buckland and their son, Daniel is also a performer.


Obtained a BA Hons (cum laude) in Drama and History, and a Higher Diploma in Education from Rhodes University. Trained at Rhodes University Drama Department.


She has worked as a freelance actor, choreographer, dancer and schoolteacher. When she and Andrew moved back to Grahmstown, she became a part time lecturer and Course Coordinator: Directing in the Drama Department. In 1993 became Director of Arts Education Projects at the Grahamstown Foundation until 2000. She is also responsible for the development of the Studio project of the Grahamstown Festival (National Arts Festival) as well as the Amaphiko Dance Project.

Co-founder, with Andrew Buckland, of Mouthpeace Theatre, for which she has directed numerous works and later director of the Ubom! Eastern Cape Drama Company. Also the director of the Arts Education Project for the Grahamstown Festival.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

As a student she appeared on stage in The Diary of Anne Frank, Skyvers, Oh What a Lovely War! and Spring Awakening (as Wendla), 1981. She had a role in the Maynardville production of Othello in 1982.

Janet directed many of Andrew Buckland's works over the years, and her directing credits include a number of productions that have scooped national and international awards. Among the works are The Ugly Noo Noo (1988), Between the Teeth (1991), Bloodstream (1992), Feedback (1994), The Water Juggler (1998), Makana (2001), Thuthula - Heart of the Labyrinth (2003), Fuse (2004), Kiss My Boot (2006), Laugh the Buffalo (2013).


Three Vita Awards for Best Production and for Best Direction as well as three Scotsman Fringe First Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Creator of the play Fuse, which was nominated in Edinburgh for “Best Ensemble work” and in 2005 the production received a Naledi Award for “Best Cutting Edge” production.

In 2001 she was the recipient of the Eastern Cape Premier’s Award for Directing. On other fronts she was elected the Herald Citizen of the Year in Arts and Culture (2007).

In 2008 Janet became the “Grahamstown Citizen of the Year” as well as the “Shoprite Checkers Woman of the year”.



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