Mary Dreyer

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Mary Dreyer (1947-2019) was a bilingual (Afrikaans and English) actress and theatre director.


Mary was born on 11 October 1947. She obtained a BA degree at Wits, a Teachers Diploma at TCE and a Post Graduate Performers Diploma at UCT, and began her acting career with The Space in Cape Town and worked for CAPAB's main company and the CAPAB Youth Group, while also doing freelance work. In 1985 she rejoined CAPAB as a member of the Permanent Company, remaining there till 1995.

She was married to the Cape Town sculptor and archtitect Jan Corewijn. The couple had two daughters - Ondine and Skye. Dreyer died on 31 August 2019, after a long illness.


Mary started with The Space in Cape Town. She was a member of CAPAB's main company and their Youth Group and rejoined CAPAB Drama Permanent Company in 1985 until 1995.

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

Before moving to Cape Town she appeared in Billy Liar (1969) and with Margaret Inglis in Impossible People.

Her debut at Maynardville was as Miranda in The Tempest in January 1973.

Started with The Space in Cape Town, doing i.a. A Different Shade of Grey (1974), Three's Company (1974), Black Beauty and the Boss (Pieter-Dirk Uys, Labia Theatre, 1976), Snow White and the Special Branch (Pieter-Dirk Uys, Labia Theatre, 1976), After Liverpool by James Saunders and The Sun King, Die Van Aardes van Grootoor (1977).

Other roles include Private Lives (1978), 'n Seder val in Waterkloof, Sweet Bird of Youth (1978), Greek; she appeared in CAPAB's Dying Breed in 1993; played Steffy in I Ought to be in Pictures (1985); Present Laughter (1987); Drie Susters Twee (1997), Madame de Sade (1997), Helen in Good (1990); The Merry Wives of Windsor (1991), Dying Breed in 1993; Gertie in Reza de Wet's Mis (1993), "Salome" in Mirakel (1994) and "Sussie" in Drif (1994) , Alice B. Toklas in Gertrude Stein and a Companion (1996); Macbeth (1996), Anfisa in Drie Susters Twee, 1997; Hiert Jou Bliksem! (KKNK 1998), André Huguenet – Meneer! (2000), Dearly Beloved (2001), Vatmaar (Baxter 2003), Oom Wanja (2004), Send for Dolly (2004), Vrededorp by Charles Fourie (KKNK, 2005) **, Amadeus (Baxter Theatre, 2006), Ella se Perde (2007), Blou Uur (Aardklop 2008, Woordfees and KKNK 2009), A Far Country, The Visit, Beckett/Bêkdit and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore.

She has also worked for television and radio, including the TV mini-series Meulenhof se Mense.

Directed several productions, was involved with educational projects presented by CAPAB's community theatre.

Film roles included That Englishwoman: An Account of the Life of Emily Hobhouse (1990), Dingetjie en Idi (), .

Awards, etc

(Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Supporting Actress, 1985) for Greek; Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Supporting Actress, 1994 (Mirakel; Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actress, 1994 for Sussie in Drif. She won the AA Vita Award for Best Actress for Measure for Measure.


A Midsummer Night's Dream programme notes in 1995 at Maynardville.

I Ought to be in Pictures programme notes, 1985.

The Elephant Man programme notes, 1998.

Beeld, 30 March 2005 (re Vrededorp).

Die Burger, 5 March 2009 (re Blou Uur).

Tribute written by A.J. Opperman, Die Burger (Eastern Cape edition), 6 September 2019.

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