Tjaart Potgieter

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Tjaart Potgieter (1949-2007). Playwright, actor, literary advisor, translator from English and German and director.


Raised in Kimberley. He died in October 2007, aged 58.


He studied under Anna Neethling-Pohl and Francois Swart at the University of Pretoria and under Mavis Taylor and Robert Mohr at the University of Cape Town where he was awarded a M Dram degree.


His career includes teaching school children, assistant editor of a political magazine and lecturing in drama at the University of Pretoria. He returned to the theatre under guidance of Robert Mohr and Mavis Taylor at UCT, and then joined Chris Pretorius, Laurens Cilliers and John Nankin to start The Glass Theatre. After that he worked with Dieter Reible for some years at the Wupperthal City Theatre in Germany. He joined PACT in 1984 as litarary adviser, director and actor.

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

Tjaart acted in Come Back, Little Sheba (University of Pretoria 1977), Die Saai Lewe (1981), Amandla Mr Fassbinder (198*), Hamlet (Glass Theatre 1982), Kyk Hoe Hol Hulle (1983), Don Dinges met die Groen Broek (1984), Don Juan onder die Boere (1986), Die Prys (1987), Vettie Vettie (1987), Die Salem-verhoor (1988), Pantagleize (1988), Run for your Wife (1990), Die Aand van die Fynproewer (1992), Die Keiser (1992), Drie Susters (1992), Romeo and Juliet (1992), Die Eend (1993), Fiela se Kind (1994).

He directed Bloed, A Doll House, The Time of the Hyena, Ludlow Fair, Full Hookup, co-directed Hotel Paradiso, Marat/Sade.

Adapted Braam en die Engel, By Fakkellig, Houd-den-Bek, Macbeth, Heidi. Adapted Die Gebreekte Kruik with Dieter Reible and renamed it Moleste met die Magistraat.

Translations into Afrikaans include The Miracle Worker, The Merchant of Venice, Tartuffe, The Tempest, The Three Musketeers, Cymbeline, The Cabal of Hypocrites.

Translated from German into English Leonce und Lena as Die Opstand van die Narre, Shakespeare's Macbeth and Battle! and, with Mitzi Booysen, Kalldewey; Farce.

He wrote The Vegetable Woman, Die Visioene van Emily, Robinson He Dance.

The Tempest, Maynardville - dir: Ken Leach; Playing with Fire (Strindberg) Dieter Reible., Tjaart’s The vegetable woman or Meditations on Blake; & The Minotaur's Sister (An adaptation of Euripides’s Hippolytus) also Aletta Bezuidenhout; 1985.

Researcher and editor for the television series Isidingo.

Awards, etc

Vita Award (Transvaal region) for contribution to Afrikaans theatre for translations of The Merchant of Venice, Cymbeline, The Tempest, award year 1992.

Nominated for a Vita Award (Transvaal region and National) as best supporting actor in Die Keiser, award year 1992.

Two DALRO Awards for the portrayal of the Minister of Culture in Die Keiser and Judge Ligt in Die Gebreekte Kruik (1991-1992).

Potgieter, Tjaart in Drie Susters (best supporting actor on the Afrikaans stage); Nominated for a National Vita Award, 1993

Nominated for a DALRO Award for his role in Drie Susters (best supporting actor on the Afrikaans stage); 1993.


Tucker, 1997.

Shakespeare's Macbeth programme notes, 1989.

Obituary by Schalk Schoombee published in Die Beeld 25 October 2007.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

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