Drama for a New South Africa: Seven Plays
The urgency of the anti-apartheid struggle created a vibrant protest theatre in South Africa. But the single-mindedness of that theatre obscured much of the diversity of South African life. In contrast, post-apartheid plays address a broad variety of social realities and employ a wider range of theatrical styles. This anthology collects the best recent examples of the new styles, subjects, and purposes of theatre in South Africa. In addition to the abiding challenges of social inequity for the black majority, these plays deal with subjects such as Islamic fundamentalism, women's rights, ecology, Afrikaans culture, and the new multi-racial life of the inner city, and they do so in ways that go beyond the expressive parameters of conventional literary drama. And the Girls in their Sunday Dresses, Purdah, and Ipi Zombie? combine the issue-oriented engagement of South Africa's popular pedagogical theatre with refined attention to the delineation of character and themes. Sophiatown mixes aspects of township musical theatre with sharply-honed dialogue and dramatic interplay among the characters. Using a more traditional dramatic form, Mooi Street Moves delineates the comedy and terror of urban life on the edge of the criminal underworld, while Crossing sketches the morbid obsessions of rural Afrikaans insularity.
Horn of Sorrow combines mime and clowning traditions from Europe and South Africa in athletic performances that intertwine environmental and social development issues. In his introduction, David Graver illuminates the development of this drama and discusses how the protest plays of the apartheid era have combined with other influences to create distinct new theatrical forms to grapple with new social controversies of a democratic South Africa. Graver also provides helpful introductions to each of the seven plays, as well as a glossary of foreign terms and phrases.
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Post-apartheid theater in South Africa has expanded beyond protest theater to assume a broader voice. The plays in this collection, including one by an Afrikaaner, discuss issues such as ecology ... Read full review
Sophiatown I 1986 JUNCTION AVENUE THEATRE COMPANY
Horn of Sorrow 1988 NICHOLAS ELLENBOGEN
And the Girls in Their Sunday Dresses I 1988 ZAKES
Moot Street Moves 1992 PAUL SLABOLEPSZY
Purdah I 1993 ISMAIL MAHOMED
Crossing I 1994 REZA DE
Ipi Zombi? 1998 BRETT BAILEY