Rhodes University

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Rhodes University is one of the oldest universities in South Africa.

The University

Located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province, it was founded in 1904 as Rhodes University College (R.U.C), through a grant from the Cecil John Rhodes Trust, it became a constituent college of the University of South Africa in 1918, before becoming the independent Rhodes University (RU) the university in 1951.

The University has played a significant role in the evolution of theatre and theatre studies in South Africa, inter alia through the staff and students of its Departments of English, Afrikaans, Musicology and Drama (including the First Physical Theatre Company).

The University has also played a central role in the annual National Arts Festival and has published Cue, the official newpaper of the annual National Arts Festival every year almost from the inception of the Festival.

Rhodes University Drama Department

The Drama Department was founded in 19** and is situated in a theatre centre consisting of the Rhodes University Theatre, the Box Theatre, and for many years has hosted the First Physical Theatre Company as in-house company.

Heads of Department

Prof. Roy Sargeant (from 1973 - 1982)

Prof. Francois Swart (1983 -1985?)

Prof. Beth Dickerson (acting Head, 1986)

Prof. Sydney James (from 1987 - 1991)

Prof. Beth Dickerson (acting Head, 1991 - 1992)

Prof. Gary Gordon (from 1992 - 2009?)

Prof. Andrew Buckland (2010 - June 2013)

Dr Heike Gehring (from ? to present)


1971: The Playboy of the Western World, directed by Beth Dickerson

1975: Katherine Mansfield and the Writing Game, directed by Beth Dickerson

1976: Make Like Slaves, directed by Roy Sargeant; Riders to the Sea and In the Shadow of the Glen, directed by Beth Dickerson; The Owl and the Pussycat Went to See..., directed by Jane Osborne.

1979: Absurd Person Singular, directed by Chris Weare

1982: Richard Gush of Salem, directed by Rosalie van der Gucht

1988: Story Theatre, directed by Sydney James

1989: The Crucible, directed by Reza de Wet

1991: Little Mary Sunshine, directed by Sydney James; The Ghost Sonata, directed by Reza de Wet

1992: Hamlet, directed by Ilse van Hemert

1993: The Good Person of Szechwan, directed by Andrew Buckland; Edward II, directed by David Alcock; Leaving Out Profanity, directed by Neil Borland

2004: Concealment, directed by Reza de Wet

2007: Heathcliff Goes Home, directed by Reza de Wet

Rhodes Drama and the Grahamstown Festival

From its inception the Drama Department has played a central role in the annual Grahamstown Festival (todya known as the National Arts Festival of NAF)

For more information, see the Grahamstown Festival

The Rhodes Journalism Department and Cue

The Rhodes University journalism department produces Cue, the official newpaper of the annual National Arts Festival every year from early in the history of the Festival.







Daily Dispatch, 15 May 1991

Daily Dispatch, 30 March 1993

Hamlet programme, 1992

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