Forays into Contemporary South African Theatre

Devising New Stage Idioms


In the years that followed the end of apartheid, South African theatre was characterized by a remarkable productivity, which resulted in a process of constant aesthetic reinvention. After 1994, the “protest” theatre template of the apartheid years morphed into a wealth of diverse forms of stage idioms, detectable in the works of Greg Homann, Mike van Graan, Craig Higginson, Lara Foot, Omphile Molusi, Nadia Davids, Magnet Theatre, Rehane Abrahams, Amy Jephta, and Reza de Wet, to cite only a few prominent examples. Marc and Jessica Maufort’s multivocal edited volume documents some of the various ways in which the “rainbow” nation has forged these innovative stage idioms. This book’s underlying assumption is that creolization reflects the processes of identity renegotiation in contemporary South Africa and their multi-faceted theatrical representations.

Contributors: Veronica Baxter, Marcia Blumberg, Vicki Briault Manus, Petrus du Preez, Paula Fourie, Craig Higginson, Greg Homann, Jessica Maufort, Marc Maufort, Omphile Molusi, Jessica Murray, Jill Planche, Ksenia Robbe, Mathilde Rogez, Chris Thurman, Mike van Graan, and Ralph Yarrow.

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Marc Maufort, PhD (1986), Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), is Professor of Anglophone literatures at that university. He has authored and (co)-edited several books on English-language drama. He is the current editor of Recherche littéraire/Literary Research.

Jessica Maufort holds a PhD (2018) in postcolonial literatures from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). She has published essays in Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment and AJE: Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology.
  Notes on Contributors
 1 A Fraught Process: Devising New Stage Idioms for Post-apartheid South Africa
   Marc and Jessica Maufort

Part 1: Playwrights’ Perspectives

 2 On Black and White: Staging South African Identities after Apartheid
   Greg Homann

 3 Being in Two Places at the Same Time
   Craig Higginson

 4 Theatre of the Native Tongue
   Omphile Molusi

 5 Transformation and the Post-apartheid Condition: The Collision of Policy and Imagination in South African Theatre
   Mike van Graan

Part 2: Dramatic, Theatrical and Performance Reconfigurations

 6 Performing Athol Fugard’s Outsider Art in The Road to Mecca and The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek: Transformative Art Defies Percepticide
   Marcia Blumberg

 7 Alluring Voices from the Page to the Stage: Literary Characters and the Question of the ‘Real’ in Reza de Wet’s Verleiding
   Petrus du Preez

 8 From the Stage to the Page: Trauma, Reconciliation and Remembering in Craig Higginson’s Dream of the Dog and The Dream House
   Mathilde Rogez

 9 South African Theatre and the Politics of the Improvisatory
   Ralph Yarrow

 10 The Fault-Lines of Idiom: New Thematic and Stylistic Trends in the Plays of Allan Kolski Horwitz
   Vicki Briault Manus

 11 Revisiting the Past, Imagining the Future: Aesthetic of Creolization in Post-apartheid South African Drama
   Marc Maufort

Part 3: Female Playwriting

 12 Intimate Exposure: Solo Women Performing in Post-apartheid South Africa
   Veronica Baxter

 13 Recuperating Historical Narratives of Violence and Dislocation in Rehane Abrahams’ What the Water Gave Me
   Jill Planche

 14 Female Interventions in Contemporary South African Drama and Performance: An Analysis of Selected Work by Women Artists
   Jessica Murray

 15 An Unfinished Homecoming: Postmemory, Place and New Practices of Politicisation in the Plays of Nadia Davids and Amy Jephta
   Ksenia Robbe

Part 4: Creolization: From the Cape to Transnational Vistas

 16 ‘Dis Nie Myne Nie, Dis Nie Joune Nie’ or Kramer and Petersen’s Ghoema: Inscribing the Past, Claiming the Present?
   Paula Fourie

 17 Shakespeare versus Shakespeare: Notes on Theatre-Making from Belgium to South Africa
   Chris Thurman

 Index of Names and Literary Works
All interested in theatre studies, African studies, Afrikaans theatre, South African drama and culture, postcolonial theatre, and comparative literature studies.