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The word playland can refer to either a form of public entertainment or a stage play by Athol Fugard.

A playland as event

A playland, more usually referred to as an amusement park, is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes.

A well known example of a park by this name is Playland[1] in New York -


Playland by Athol Fugard

The original text

Set in the grounds of a fun park, it is a play of reconciliation, about white anxieties about the aspirations of whites, and the memories of the civil war, on the eve of the new South Africa.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans by Saartjie Botha, produced in 2014.

Performance history in South Africa

1992: First performed at ** in the USA, then presented by Mannie Manim Productions at the Market Theatre and the Baxter Theatre in 1992, directed by Athol Fugard featuring John Kani and Sean Taylor. Voice of 'Barking Barney' Barkhuizen: Bill Flynn. Associate director and designer: Susan Hilferty. Sound designer: Mark Malherbe. Lighting designer: Mannie Manim. First published by Witwatersrand University Press 1992.

2010: The Drama Department of the University of the Free State performed the play at the Fugard Festival in Nieu Bethesda, directed by Thys Heydenrych. (Performances 23 and 24 September).

2014: Translated into Afrikaans by Saartjie Botha, produced and directed by Albert Maritz, with Mbulelo Grootboom and Albert Pretorius, 23 January to 15 February, 2014, Fugard Theatre, Cape Town. It was a part of the Suidoosterfees. Set and Lighting design by Albert Maritz, Set construction and detailing by Koos Marais and Gaerin Hauptfleisch; Costume Design by Koos Marais, Production Manager Johann Kupferburger, Stage Manager Gaerin Hauptfleisch and Surtitle Operator Shayna Gleave.

Performance history abroad

1994: Presented at the Sydney Festival, Australia, by Mannie Manim Productions, starring Sean Taylor and John Kani.


Playland programme notes of first run at the Market Theatre, 1992.

Ruphin Coudyzer. 2023. Annotated list of his photographs of Market Theatre productions. (Provided by Coudyzer)

AusStage [2]. (Australian production 1994).

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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