A Century of South African Theatre: Cultural Histories of Theatre and Performance

Autor Professor Loren Kruger
en Limba Engleză Paperback – 28 noi 2019
"Theatre is not part of our vocabulary": Sipho Sepamla's provocation in 1981, the year of famous anti-apartheid play Woza Albert!, prompts the response, yes indeed, it is. A Century of South African Theatre demonstrates the impact of theatre and other performances-pageants, concerts, sketches, workshops, and performance art-over the last hundred years. Its coverage includes African responses to pro-British pageants celebrating white Union in 1910, such as the Emancipation Centenary of the abolition of British colonial slavery in 1934 organized by Griffiths Motsieloa and HIE Dhlomo, through anti-apartheid testimonial theatre by Athol Fugard, Maishe Maponya, Gcina Mhlophe, and many others, right up to the present dramatization of state capture, inequality and state violence in today's unevenly democratic society, where government has promised much but delivered little. Building on Loren Kruger's personal observations of forty years as well as her published research, A Century of South African Theatre provides theoretical coordinates from institution to public sphere to syncretism in performance in order to highlight South Africa's changing engagement with the world from the days of Empire, through the apartheid era to the multi-lateral and multi-lingual networks of the 21st century. The final chapters use the Constitution's injunction to improve wellbeing as a prompt to examine the dramaturgy of new problems, especially AIDS and domestic violence, as well as the better known performances in and around the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Kruger critically evaluates internationally known theatre makers, including the signature collaborations between animator/designer William Kentridge, and Handspring Puppet Company, and highlights the local and transnational impact of major post-apartheid companies such as Magnet Theatre.
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ISBN-13: 9781350008014
ISBN-10: 135000801X
Pagini: 288
Ilustrații: 20 b/w illus
Dimensiuni: 156 x 234 x 16 mm
Greutate: 0.5 kg
Editura: Bloomsbury Publishing
Colecția Methuen Drama
Seria Cultural Histories of Theatre and Performance

Locul publicării:London, United Kingdom


Provides the most comprehensive account of theatre and performance in South Africa by the author of The Drama of South Africa, which offers a thorough account of theatre in different varieties of English as well as Afrikaans, Zulu and other languages

Notă biografică

Loren Kruger is a graduate of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Cornell University, USA and is Professor of English, Comparative Literature, Theatre and Performance Studies and African Studies at the University of Chicago, USA.


List of IllustrationsList of MapsAcknowledgementsIntroduction: Theatre and South African Public SpheresChapter 1 Commemorating and Contesting Emancipation: Pageants and other enactmentsChapter 2 Neocolonial theatre and the "African National Dramatic Movement"Chapter 3 (Anti-)Apartheid Theatre in the Shadow of SophiatownChapter 4 Advance and Retreat of the Afrikaner Ascendancy Chapter 5 Dramas of Black SolidarityChapter 6 Theatre as Testimony and Performance Against ApartheidChapter 7 Prospects and Retro-spects in Post-anti-apartheid Theatre Chapter 8 The Constitution of South African Theatre at the Present TimeAbbreviations and Glossary Abbreviations, key terms from South Africa's indigenous languages; and distinctive South African variants of English words and phrasesNotesReferencesIndex


[Loren Kruger's] detailed discussions of colonial-era pageants, the theatre of Afrikaner nationalism and Black Consciousness, as well as the diverse experiments of contemporary dramatists responding to HIV-AIDS, gender violence, state corruption, and the massacre of miners at Marikana, make A Century of South African Theatre essential reading. Going beyond the local, Kruger insightfully places South African theatre within a transnational frame, tracing influences ranging from the European avant-garde to African American popular stage shows.
Kruger performs the impossible. Her book provides a panoptic view of a sprawling, unwieldy and fascinating subject but there are no short cuts or bland generalisations. Instead, she moves astutely across the shifting terrain and multiple maps of theatre in South Africa, marking the tensions and contradictions of overlapping languages, cultures and authorities...Certainly, in its compelling and erudite coverage of a difficult theatrical century this is a volume not to be missed.
This book has done justice to the history of South African theatre and more specifically the history of performance and playwriting by African and women theatre makers. While Kruger gives the colonial/apartheid theatre its place and context in history, she deliberately foregrounds the subaltern. As an analyst, Kruger is privileged to have a working knowledge of isiZulu, which she uses to her advantage to view plays, collect data and make informed opinions on African performances. She straddles both the insider and outsider positions making her historical account balanced. This book is an excellent resource for all drama/theatre/performance departments offering an academic major in (South) African theatre or any cultural analyst with an interest in theatre studies.
Loren Kruger has made an enormous contribution to the scholarly study of South African theatre, not only in reflecting us to ourselves, but also in placing us within the context of a world theatre. She repeatedly reveals her mastery of the rigorous tools of analysis in tracking and mining rich seams of cultural activity which she is able to filter into potent, tightly packed categories.
The views as expressed in this book should undoubtedly be taken seriously in any (re)evaluation of the role played by theatre and performance over the course of the past 100 years.