Athol Fugard hot news

 My Children! My Africa! in the USA, and auditions for the play.  Athol Fugard awarded honorary degree in Literature.  A thesis on Blood Knot available online.

Please pass on details of any performances etc click here.  Last update 27 February 2024.

My Children! My Africa! in Illinois, USA

Athol Fugard, My Children! My Africa!

My Children! My Africa! is on at the John and Angeline Oremus Theater, Illinois.  The dates are 26, 27 April and 3, 4 May 2024.

The play is directed by Dr. Craig Rosen

"The great South African playwright confronts the tragedy of apartheid in his native land in this compelling tale about the efforts of a humble and humane black teacher in a segregated township to persuade just one young person that education, not violence, is the answer to South Africa's problems".

For the theatre website click here.
For more on the play click here.

Auditions for My Children! My Africa! in Illinois, USA

Athol Fugard Auditions for My Children! My Africa!

There are auditions for My Children! My Africa!

You are required to familiarise yourself with the play and the specific character requirements, then prepare a short monologue.  The auditions are on 4 March 2024 at 9000 College Pkwy, Palos Hills, IL, United States, Illinois

For details of the audition and how to register click here.

For details of the performances of the play see above.

For more on the play click here.

Master Harold... and the Boys in Buffalo, USA

Athol Fugard -Master Harold and the Boys 

The Irish Classical Theatre Company in Buffalo present Master Harold... and the Boys from 16 Nov- 3 Dec 2023.

The director is Aaron Mays and the performers are Sam Fesmire, Roderick Garr and Gerald Ramsey.

"I think playwright Athol Fugard does something quite remarkable with this play. By acknowledging that some of the difficult moments in this piece are reflections on his own actions as a young man growing up in apartheid South Africa, and his willingness to examine his own role in inheriting and upholding the hate and intolerance of that environment, Fugard opens the door of humility and self-reflection. “Master Harold”…and the Boys centers both a tenderness and an ugliness that we may not otherwise choose to dwell on, particularly because of how vulnerable we might feel if we recognize traces of either in ourselves".

The theatre website is here.

For more on the play click here.

The Island in Ohio, USA


The Island by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona performed by the Ensemble Theatre, Ohio.  Performances are at The Performing Arts Center at Notre Dame College from 27 Oct- 12 Nov 2023.

The director is  Sarah May and the actors are Robert Williams (John) and Nnamdi Okpala (Winston).

"John and Winston are black political prisoners in South Africa, spending their days at hard labor and their evenings rehearsing Sophocles' Antigone. Though the two men are deeply bonded to one another, their friendship is tested when John discovers that his most recent appeal was successful, while Winston is still looking at years of brutal incarceration ahead. A profile on the depth of human resilience in the face of unspeakable injustice and racism".

The ensemble website is here.

More on The Island is here.

A Place with the Pigs in Ireland

A Place with the Pigs in Ireland 

Blue Raincoat Theatre Company present A Place with the Pigs at The Factory Performance Space, Sligo, Ireland on 21-25  Nov 2023.  The director is Niall Henry and the performers are John Carty and Sandra O Malley.

"Based on a true story, A Place With the Pigs is a poignant and sometimes farcical tale about a Russian soldier who deserted his post during WWII and spent the next 41 years hiding in his pigsty. The plays begins with Pavel Ivanovitch preparing to rejoin the world by throwing himself at the mercy of his countrymen".

There is a post-show talk on 22 Nov 2023.
The company website is here.

Blood Knot thesis

LeHigh University

A thesis "The evolution of Athol Fugard's The blood knot" is now available online at the website of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The MA thesis is by Kim Lauren McKay from 1987.

"The published script from the 1960's was not to be the last for The Blood Knot, however, and in the 1980's Fugard turned his attention again to this play. This new, shorter version succeeds without the early poetic stance and natural imagery; it relies instead on a more
forceful tone and a more clearly political message, both of which comment on the artist and his world "

You can read the thesis on the Lehigh Preserve website  here.

Encyclopedia Britannica Web's Best Site

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Encyclopædia Britannica has listed this site as the Web's best site on Athol Fugard.  Thanks- click on the image for the encyclopædia.

Too late- see what you missed!!

Master Harold and the Boys in Salisbury, UK

Studio Theatre Salibsury UK 

The Road to Mecca is on at the Studio Theatre, Salisbury on 22 Sept 2023.  This is an acted play-reading, directed by Barney Norris.

"Arguably South Africa’s greatest playwright, Fugard set this play in a small village in the Karoo and touches on the artistic urge to be creative in spite of opposition, the friction between the Afrikaans and English speakers of the time (1980s) and a deep and supportive friendship.

It will be a rehearsed reading with props and lighting and is free and open to all. Donations for the upkeep of the theatre in these challenging times will be welcome"

The theatre website is here.

A Place with the Pigs in Persian

Athol Fugard - A Place with the Pigs in Iran

A chance to see a Persian version of Athol Fugard's A Place with the Pigs in Iran.

The director is Pedram Azmudeh and Hushang Hesami translated the play into Persian.  The actors include Shahin Pakzad and Sara Fat’hi.

Kaniveya Haadu (Valley Song) in India

Natana School Of Theatre Arts present Kaniveya Haadu, translated by Dr. Meera Murthy and directed by Dr. Sripada Bhat.  It is on 21 May 2023.

My Children! My Africa! in Cape Town, South Africa

Athol Fugard - My Children! My Africa! Artacape Arena

Artscape Arena presents My Children! My Africa! from 12 May- 5 Jun 2023.

The actors are Dobs Madotyeni (Mr M), Lungile Lallie (Thami) and Jenny Stead (Isabel).  The director is Marcel Meyer.

"Written during the twilight years of the apartheid regime, Athol Fugard’s seminal 1989 play, My Children! My Africa! presents a candid and moving portrait of a country on the verge of revolution. This modern classic is Fugard’s hymn to the power of youth, education, hope and ideas... In a township classroom in the Eastern Cape in 1984, an idealistic teacher attempts to instil a love of learning in his gifted pupil, but political unrest and the generational divide soon culminate in an explosive conflict with tragic consequences.".

For more details from the Artscape Aren click here.

Master Harold... and the boys in San Francisco

Master Harold and the Boys in San Francisco, USA

Weathervane Productions presents The Road to Mecca at Z Below from 4- 30 Jun 2023.

The actors are Victor Talmadge, Wendy vanden Heuvel and Kodi Jackman.  The director is Timothy Near.

For more details from the Z site click here.

The Island British Tour

Athol Fugard - The Island 

Elysium Theatre Company & Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham present the 50th Anniversary Production of The Island.

The Director is Jake Murray and designed is by Caitlin Mills and Lee Ward.  Ewen Cummins plays John and Daniel Poyser plays Winston.

"South Africa 1973, Robben Island, the top security political prison where Nelson Mandela was held.  John and Winston are sharing a cell. They survive through a mixture of solidarity, laughter and defiance. The two men’s sense of brotherhood has kept them going for years, then John hears that he’s going to be released… The Island is one of the most famous plays of the 20th Century and has been seen all over the world. A rich, boisterous, funny, moving piece of theatre, it is a hymn to the human spirit and a cry for freedom everywhere".

The dates are

15-17 Feb 2023 – Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham
22 Feb – Princess Alexandra Auditorium, Yarm
24 Feb – Whittingham Memorial Institute, Whittingham
25 Feb – Bardon Mill & Henshaw Village Hall
26 Feb – Amble Parish Hall, Amble
1 March – The Witham, Barnard Castle
2 March – Washington Arts Centre, Washington
3 March – the Exchange, North Shields
4 March – Hull Truck Theatre, Hull
7 -8 March Alnwick Playhouse, Alnwick
9 March – Hullabaloo Space, Darlington Hippodrome
10 March – the Maltings, Berwick
11-12 March – Luce Theatre, Durham School
15 March – Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond
16-18 March – the Lowry, Manchester

More details are on the Elysium website, click here.

The Island in Kenya

Athol Fugard - The Island - Kenya 

Kenya National Theatre present Athol Fugard's The Island on 14 and 15 Jan 2023.

The director is Alacoque Ntome and the actors are Emmanuel Shikuku and Sam Adinio.

Master Harold... and the boys staged reading in Texas, USA

Master Harold.. and the Boys in Austin, USA 

Austin Shakespeare present "Master Harold"... and the Boys in a staged reading.  The director is Ann Ciccolella and the actors are Marc Pouhé,  Corey Allen and Justin Duggan.  It runs from 13- 15 Jan 2023 at KMFA Draylen Mason Studio.

"1950, in a small South African tea shop in South Africa, two black men and a white boy joke and dance together, defying the brutalities of apartheid through their joyous love. But festering issues of family, race, and power are not so easy to ignore, and a single phone call can trigger catastrophe".

Details are on the Austin Shakespeare website here

Theatre blog - click here.

"I sing for beloved Fountain actor Adolphus Ward"

Athol Fugard and Adolphus Ward

Adolphus Ward who played in Fugard's Coming Home and The Train Driver has passed away aged 88.  There is a moving tribute by Stephen Sachs, Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre "In Fugard’s The Train Driver, he played a gravedigger overseeing a bleak South African burial site for the unknown and unwanted, who “puts the nameless ones in the grave.” I’ll never forget the moment in the play when Adolphus, as the gravedigger, sang a Xhosa lullaby to the souls in the ground who were “sleeping.” The song floated from Adolphus like smoke on the night air. Haunting, beautiful, quietly transcendent". The link is on Intimate Excellent- the Fountain

My Children My Africa in South Africa

Athol Fugard - My Children Mu Africa 

Soweto Theatre Schools Setworks Festival present My Children M Africa from 16- 25 Aug 2022.

"In a classroom of the black Zolile High, Mr. M referees a student debate contesting that women should not receive the same education as men... Outside the classroom, Mr. M’s hopes for Thami are challenged by their generational divide and increasing political unrest under the South African government’s policy of apartheid".

More details are on the Soweto Theatre website click here.

My Children! My Africa! in USA CT plus discussion

Athol Fugard - My Children! Mu Africa! 

HartBeat Ensemble presents My Children! My Africa! from 9 Oct- 9 Sept 2022 at Carriage House Theater, Hartford, Connecticut, USA.

Directed by Melanie Dreyer-Lude and the performers are Brianna Joy Ford, Jelani Pitcher and Godfrey L. Simmons Jr.

Lighting Design is by Jon-Paul LaRocco, Set Design by Norm Johnson Jr., Sound Design by Maritza Ubides and Stage Manager Martha Lorena Preve.

"The great South African playwright Athol Fugard confronts the tragedy of apartheid in this compelling tale set in a segregated township in 1984. In the face of increasing racial tension, a humble and humane black teacher attempts to persuade his best (and most charismatic) student that education, not violence, is the answer to South Africa’s problems".

More details are on the HartBeat Ensemble website here.

As well there is ENCOUNTERS: My Children! My Africa! "a special dialogue event that features small group discussions, on critical questions about the play, as well as specialist feedback and engagement".  It is on 12 Oct 2022 and registration is free, see the website.

Blood Knot in North Carolina, USA

Athol Fugard - Blood Knot

The Black Box Series present Athol Fugard's Blood Knot from 16 Sept- 9 Oct 2022.  It is performed at the Flat Rock Playhouse, North Carolina.

"Relatable and searingly intimate, Blood Knot asks us to dig beneath the surface of what makes us kin and what happens when we don’t like what we find there.

Written by renowned South African playwright Athol Fugard, Blood Knot is about the relationship between two biracial half-brothers: dark-skinned Zach and light-skinned Morris, who has recently returned home after passing as white for many years. The play follows the brothers as they grapple with crippling poverty and lonely isolation—living a strained existence in a one-room shack in apartheid South Africa. The brothers' desperation exposes the complex angles of their relationship in this powerful, revolutionary play.".

It is directed by Vickie Washington and the players are Arusi Santi and Odera Adimorah.

Details are on the Flat Rock website here.

Valley Song in California, USA

Athol Fugard - Valley Song 

ICT present Valley Song from 24 Aug - 11 Sept 2022 at ICT's home in the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.

The director is caryn desai (she writes her name without capitals) and the two roles are played by Michael A. Shepperd and Belle Guillor.

"Written after the collapse of South Africa's system of institutionalized racial oppression known as apartheid, Valley Song reflects Fugard's optimism for a new future as it examines a family's intergenerational dynamics against the backdrop of political change".

Details are on the ICT website here.

The Island in Chicago

Athol Fugard The Island - Court Theatre Chicago

Court Theatre, the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, present The Island.  The director is Gabrielle Randle-Bent.  It runs from 11 Nov- 4 Dec 2022.  More details when available.

"John and Winston are political prisoners on South Africa’s infamous Robben Island, spending their days toiling at grueling, futile tasks in the prison’s quarry. At night, they secretly rehearse a two-man version of Antigone and find solace and strength in their burgeoning friendship. The Island is at once a sobering glimpse into the social, physical, and psychological wounds of Apartheid; a lesson in the complex work of liberation; and a testament to the transformative power of theatre".

Details are on the Court Theatre website here.

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