The Andersonville Trial

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Performance history in South Africa

The Andersonville Trial by Saul Levitt. ** Albert Ninio directed this play, which was staged by the Johannesburg Reps in 1962. It starred Joe Stewardson and Gordon Mulholland. The play is about whether men "have or have not a real authority within themselves as human beings" using the military as background to this question (Saul Levitt in the programme of the play in 1962). It has been compared to the story of Captain Henry Wirz who was put on trial for his life after the Civil War in America in 1865. He claimed he merely carried out the orders of his superiors. The playwright asks whether these superior systems (government, corporations, army) can "take over ultimate responsibility for the individuals moral decision" (Levitt). The play is set in a courtroom that suggests 1865. Levitt asserts that the play eventually poses another question: "are men too weak in the face of the very world they make?".

Translations and adaptations


Alexander Theatre programme of the play's run in February 1962, No. 157.

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