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Welcome to the Encyclopaedia of South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance (ESAT), the online, open access, digital reference work on theatre, film, media and performance in South Africa.

(Latest version of the Main Page: 16 December, 2016)

(To skip the rest of this introductory background section, and go directly to the entries, click here: THE ESAT ENTRIES)

About ESAT

ESAT is a Wiki-based, online, open access encyclopaedia, currently being edited by Temple Hauptfleisch (founder, editor and project director), with Freddy Ogterop, Ivor Markman and Miriam Terblanche as assistant editors. Hosted by Stellenbosch University

Conceived in the early 1980s and registered as a research project in 1994 by Temple Hauptfleisch, it was originally intended for publication in printed book format (see COMSAT). However, in 2008 the switch was made to the current digital, online publication, which was opened up for public access and use in late 2011. The current open-access reference work is the result of a national research programme, involving a large number of voluntary writers, researchers, editors and technical supporters over more than 15 years. Sponsorship has come from a number of institutions, among which the most prominent have been the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the University of Stellenbosch.

For more detailed information about specific aspects of ESAT, click on the appropriate link below:

  1. Aims, organizational structure
  2. Contributors
  3. Background, origins and history of ESAT
  4. Basic principles in editing and using ESAT

You can also consult the entry on the Encyclopaedia of South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance in the encyclopaedia itself.

The ESAT address

The Editor: ESAT, Department of Drama, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, MATIELAND 7602, South Africa.

E-mail address:

Fax number: (+ 27) 21 882 9141

How to use ESAT

While ESAT uses the Wiki programme, which makes provision for a very useful search function, the database has avoided contemporary multi-screen web-design, and has been constructed rather more traditionally, like a printed encyclopaedia, with an index to the various entries (called The ESAT Entries). The entries in the index have been grouped in fifteen distinct categories, each one managed and edited by one of the research editors.

Important notes for everyone using ESAT

  1. The focus is on pre-21st-century theatre, film, media and performance
  2. It is work in progress
  3. Policy regarding offensive language and terminology

To find out more about these matters, click on the items above.

Accessing the database of entries

To access database material on the relevant category, the reader has two options:

Using the "Search" function

Go to the "Search" block at the top right of this page (or type: Alt+F) and type in the search word/phrase.

Using the Index to the ESAT Entries

Go to the Index to the ESAT Entries (below) and click on the appropriate link in the list of 16 categories of entries, then follow instructions on the landing page.


The entries for ESAT have been grouped in sixteen categories, grouped in four sections below, and managed and edited by one of the research editors. (Please note that public celebratory events and pageants are viewed as single performances or theatrical events for the Stage Plays, while festivals and competitions are listed in a separate category as Festivals and Competitions.)


For information on the bibliographic conventions used in ESAT listings as a whole, go to: ESAT Bibliographic Conventions

To access database material on the relevant category, click on the appropriate link below.

1. Overviews of South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance

  1. Film
  2. Radio and TV
  3. Theatre and Performance

2. Terminology and Thematic Entries

  1. General Terminology and Thematic Entries
  2. South African Film
  3. South African Media
  4. South African Theatre

3. Individual Entries

  1. Festivals and Competitions
  2. Films
  3. Personalities
  4. Radio Plays and Serials
  5. Stage Plays
  6. Television Plays and Series
  7. Venues, Companies, Societies, etc.

4. Resources

  1. A Chronology of South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance
  2. A Bibliography of South African South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance

Copyright and referencing of material used

ESAT is an open access publication, which means that even though the material contained in the encyclopaedia is copyrighted to ESAT and the University of Stellenbosch, it may be freely used for academic and artistic purposes as long as such use is clearly referenced and the material used is attributed to The Encyclopaedia of South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance (ESAT), the reference also including the URL for the particular entry in ESAT.

An invitation to contribute to ESAT

All researchers, artists and other interested parties are invited to help us to expand, improve, update and correct ESAT since, by its very nature, the database will always be incomplete and prone to error on occasion.

Submitting contributions, suggestions and corrections to ESAT

There are a number of ways of submitting entries, suggestions or material, as described below.

NB Note about the possibility of registering a Wiki-account

Unlike Wikipedia and similar websites, ESAT does not allow anyone, except the appointed researchers on the research programme, to make changes directly to the ESAT website. When we began there was a facility for applying for an ESAT account available on the website, a facility which is an inherent part of the Wiki-programme. However, that has now been disabled as far as the ESAT project is concerned.

So we ask that you please submit material and suggestions to the Editor, in one of the ways described below. On receipt, the contributions will all be seriously considered and assessed by the research team, for inclusion where and if suitable.

If used, you will naturally be credited as one of the Sources for the article, so we ask that you also supply us with the name we have to credit.

Ways of submitting material for inclusion

To submit any pieces of data, visual material or suggestions for alterations, please send such proposals, changes, edits, and new material in Word-format (and if possible as an e-mail attachment) directly to the Editor at for evaluation and inclusion.

If you wish to write up a full, new entry and send it to us, you may do so using the ESAT Templates, which are explained and provided below as a guideline for entries in various sections of the encyclopaedia.

Original material, such as CV's, documents, photographs and other material can also be scanned and sent to the same address for possible use as source material or illustrations.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you submit all necessary and relevant references for sources used to compile entries, sources (and copyright holders) of material submitted, or information supplied.

Material can also be mailed or faxed to any of the following addresses for the attention of the Editor:

The Editor: ESAT, Department of Drama, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, MATIELAND 7602, South Africa.

Fax number: (+ 27) 21 882 9141

The ESAT Templates

We have devised the following templates for the various categories in the encyclopaedia (see Index to ESAT Entries above), and we invite you to use them when preparing material to submit to us, especially when submitting full, new entries. To find the appropriate ESAT Template for your purposes, click on the category below:

  1. Film ESAT Template
  2. Personalities ESAT Template
  3. Radio Plays & series ESAT Template
  4. Stage Plays ESAT Template
  5. Festivals and Competitions Template
  6. Themes and definitions ESAT Template
  7. TV Drama & series ESAT Template
  8. Venues, Companies, Institutions etc ESAT Template

Please use the headings outlined in the appropriate category to write up your entry/entries for inclusion in ESAT. Do so in a Word document, and then mail it back to us as an e-mail attachment, or in a letter to the address given above, and we will upload it onto the website.