Juanita Swanepoel

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Juanita Swanepoel (1950 - ). Actress, voice artist and director (as Juanita Swanepoel), and speech teacher and drama lecturer (under her married name, Nita Fourie).


Studied at the University of Stellenbosch


She became an actress for CAPAB 1973 – 1977 (for whom she appeared in, e.g., Die Ryk Weduwee in 1974), lectured in voice and improvisation in the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department from 1987 – 1997, while becoming an immensely popular radio actress in the same period. Was an active member of the Libertas Theatre Club, where she performed in a number of plays. Since 1998 she has been a freelance director.

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

As actress Juanita gave memorable performances in amongst other André P. Brink’s Pavane (1975, directed by Mees Xteen) and Adam Small’s Kanna hy kô Hystoe (1974, directed by Pieter Fourie) and 4 Vertrekke en 'n Tuin (1978).

She directed a number of student productions for the Drama Department at Stellenbosch, including Die Effek van Gammastrale op Goudgeel Afrikaners (The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-moon Marigolds) (1987); Corlia Fourie’s Moeders en Dogters [“Mothers and Daughters”] (1995) and Steel Magnolias (1997).

She also directed 'n Handvol Gruis in 2002, a production of Daar leef Mense Daar at the Suidoosterfees in 2008 and Hasepad in 2013.

Notable also for her enormously popular commissioned prose and poetry productions entitled So is ek gebek (Lit: “This is how my mouth sits”, i.e. this is the way I talk”) and So is my tafel gedek (“This is how my table is set”) with students for the main festival at the Little Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) (199*-1997).

After leaving the department in 1998, she directed productions for Spektrum Produksies, which she and her husband Johan J. Fourie had started. Besides numerous school programmes, these include such acclaimed works as Elke boemelaar se droom (“every tramp’s dream” - 1999) Susanna die Geliefde (“Susanna my love”); Praat van die duiwel (“speak of the devil”); Maer man met die groen trui (“The thin man in the green jersey” - 2000), the hugely successful Roadkill/Padkos (by Malan Steyn, 2000-2001) and the critically acclaimed Yerma (Lorca) in 2001-2002, Jan en Jorie by Malan Steyn (2003), Man (S.nw) by Madelein Volschenk. (2003).

After a long absence on the stage she acted in Saad in 2008.


Die Burger, 15 January 2008.

See also sources of the various productions.

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