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New Territories

Theatre, Drama, and Performance in Post-apartheid South Africa


Edited By Greg Homann and Marc Maufort

South African theatre, drama, and performance is a vibrant and rapidly developing area of contemporary theatre studies. In this critical anthology of essays and interviews, some of the world’s most respected scholars and practitioners writing and working in the area of South African theatre today share their detailed examinations and insights on the complex and contradictory context of post-apartheid society. Loosely grouped into the categories of Theatre, Drama, and Performance, the essays collected here offer a sampling of work being staged, produced, and written in the country today. The contributors document, contrast, and analyse significant case studies, representing examples from site-specific performance to new South African plays, from traditional indigenous performance practice to the reimagining of Western classics. The anthology takes the year of South Africa’s first democratic election, 1994, as its departure point and includes a broad range of topics that capture the current paradigm.
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Zakes Mda: The Satirist


Patrick EBEWO

Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa


In the 1980s, many people would not have associated Zakes Mda with literary drama because his activities in the theatre at that time revolved around communication and education for developmental purposes. At this time Mda utilised theatre for development (TfD) as a didactic tool for educating and conscientising the rural poor about the world they live in. To Mda, TfD’s emphasis on community participation was a means of giving the people a voice to deliberate on things that could change their lives for the better. Organisation of TfD activities in local communities is a way to integrate, empower and educate the local people – men and women, adults and children – on how to improve their general livelihood. Theatre for development’s emphasis on community participation aligns with the Peasants’ Charter of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):

Participation by the people in the institutions and systems which govern their lives is a basic human right and also essential for realignment of political power in favour of disadvantaged groups and for social and economic development. Rural development strategies can realise their full potential only through the motivation, active involvement and organisation at the grassroots level of rural people, with special emphasis on the least advantaged, in conceptualising and designing policies and programmes and in creating administrative, social and economic institutions, including cooperative and other voluntary forms of organisation for implementing and evaluating...

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