William H. Bell

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William H. Bell (1873-1946). Affectionally nick-named ‘Daddy Bell’ An important influence on the development of formal theatre training in the country. Professor in and first director of the South African College of Music (later the Faculty of Music at the University of Cape Town)(19**-1934). Made dramatic studies part of music training. Prime mover to obtain, and first general director (1931-1934) of, the University of Cape Town’s Little Theatre, which opened in 1931. He helped open up the venue for “guest performances” by the amateur societies of Cape Town in dire need of suitable venues. Besides his critical role in the College of Music and the Little Theatre, he was an active member of the Cape Town Repertory Theatre Society, instrumental beginning the UCT Ballet School (bringing Dulcie Howes back to South Africa to run it) and in founding of the UCT Drama Department (19*-) . [TH, JH]

Sources

Du Toit, P.J., 1988.

Inskip, Donald P., 1972.

Binge, 1969.

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