Advertisement

Democratic Actors and Post-Apartheid Drama: Contesting Performance in Contemporary South Africa

  • Loren Kruger
Part of the Performance Interventions book series (PIPI)

Abstract

In anti-apartheid South Africa, performance culture was dominated by one institution: the Market Theatre. Opening in June 1976, just before the Soweto uprising, the Market provided a venue for plays that expressed the urgency of the anti-apartheid struggle. While other, shorter-lived theatres — from the Space in Cape Town (1972–81) to black institutions in or near Johannesburg such as FUBA (Federated Union of Black Arts) or Soyikwa (honoring playwright Wole Soyinka) — staged critical drama, it was the Market that provided space, support, and marketing for one of apartheid’s most visible exports: anti-apartheid protest theatre. Although some lamented the packaging of protest as ‘theatre for export’ in plays like Sarafina (1986) that flattered overseas spectators’ sense of their own political correctness (see Mofokeng, 1996), all agree that at its best, in plays from Survival (1976), to Woza Albert (1981), to Born in the RSA, and Have you seen Zandile? (both 1986), anti-apartheid theatre bore witness to both the atrocities of, and the resistance to, apartheid. As the primary venue for this genre of performance, the Market offered not only a stage but also a safe haven for performers whose work and whose very selves might have otherwise been banned or harassed by the apartheid state.

Keywords

Central Business District Performance Practice African National Congress Soap Opera Democratic Actor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Achmat, Z. ‘The Treatment Action Campaign, HIV/AIDS and the government,’ Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa, 54:1 (2004) 76–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adorno, T. W. The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 1991).Google Scholar
  3. Auslander, P. Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 1999).Google Scholar
  4. Banham, M. et al. (eds) A History of African Theatre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  5. Baumol, W. J. and W. G. Bowen. Performing Arts: The Economic Dilemma: A Study of Problems Common to Theatre, Opera, Music and Dance (Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1966).Google Scholar
  6. Beall, J., O. Cranshaw, and S. Parnell. Uniting a Divided City: Governance and Social Exclusion in Johannesburg (London: Earthscan, 2002).Google Scholar
  7. Beavon, K. Johannesburg: The Making and Shaping of the City (Pretoria: University of South Africa Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  8. Botha, N. ‘Mad, bad and relative,’ Johannesburg Mail and Guardian (17 October 2005).Google Scholar
  9. Bourgault, L. Playing for Life: Performance in Africa in the Age of AIDS (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2003).Google Scholar
  10. Brecht, B. Werke: Große kommentierte Berliner und Frankfurter Ausgabe (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1998).Google Scholar
  11. Brecht, B. Brecht on Film and Radio, trans. M. Silberman (London: Methuen, 2000).Google Scholar
  12. Brecht, B. Brecht on Art and Politics, trans. T. Kuhn and S. Giles (London: Methuen, 2002).Google Scholar
  13. Bremner, L. Johannesburg: One City, Colliding Worlds (Johannesburg: STE Publishers, 2004).Google Scholar
  14. City of Johannesburg ‘Vision’ (Chapter Five of iGoli 2030), 2002a: http://www.joburg.org.za/feb_2002/2030-vision.pdf (accessed 7 June 2005).
  15. City of Johannesburg iGoli 2030: Short Version, 2002b: http://www.joburg.org.za/feb_2002/2030-shortversion.pdf(accessed 7 June 2005).
  16. DACST (Dept of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology 1994–2002) Creative South Africa: A Strategy for Realising the Potential of the Cultural Industries (Pretoria; Government: Publications, 1998).Google Scholar
  17. Dalrymple, L. ‘Drama Studies in the 21st Century,’ South African Theatre Journal, 19 (2005) 157–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dawes, N. and S. Reddy. ‘Lights, Camera, Showdown,’ Mail and Guardian (4 November 2005).Google Scholar
  19. Duncan, J. Broadcasting and the National Question: South African Broadcast Media in an Age of Neo-Liberalism (Johannesburg: Freedom of Expression Institute, 2001).Google Scholar
  20. Fraser, N. ‘Inner City Regeneration Overview for 2005,’ Joburg (19 December 2005).Google Scholar
  21. Green, P. ‘The Rise and Fall of the SABC,’ Mail and Guardian (27 July 2007).Google Scholar
  22. HSRC (Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa) National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behavior and Communication, 2005: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/media/2005/11/20051130_1Factsheet2.html (accessed 4 April 2006).
  23. Kruger, L. The Drama of South Africa: Plays, Pageants and Publics since 1910 (London and New York: Routledge, 1999).Google Scholar
  24. Kruger, L. ‘Theatre, Crime and the Edgy City in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg,’ Theatre Journal, 53:2 (2001) 223–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kruger, L. ‘Scarcity, Conspicuous Consumption and Performance in South Africa,’ Theatre Research International, 27:3 (2002) 232–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kruger, L. ‘Theatre for Development and TV Nation: Educational Soap Opera in South Africa,’ African Drama and Performance, ed. J. Conteh-Morgan and T. Olaniyan (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2004), pp. 155–75.Google Scholar
  27. Kruger, L. ‘Filming the Edgy City: Cinematic Narrative and Urban Form in PostApartheid Johannesburg,’ Research in African Literatures, 37:2 (2006) 141–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kruger, L. ‘Letter from Johannesburg: Performance and Urban Fabrics in the Inner City,’ Theater, 38:1 (2008) 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Laschinger, K. ‘Indigenous Rewards,’ The Media Online (December 1, 2005).Google Scholar
  30. Mail and Guardian, ‘Mpshe: Zuma decision not an acquittal,’ Mail and Guardian (6 April 2009).Google Scholar
  31. Marlin-Curiel, S. ‘Wielding the Cultural Weapon After Apartheid;Bongani Linda’s Victory Sonqoba Theatre in South Africa,’ in Theatre and Empowerment: Community Theatre on the World Stage, ed. R. Boon and J. Plastow (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 94–123.Google Scholar
  32. Market Theatre Foundation, 2004–2005 Annual Report (Johannesburg, 2005): http://www.markettheatre.co.za (accessed 24 March 2006).
  33. Mofokeng, J. ‘Theatre for Export: The Commercialization of the Black People’s Struggle in South African Export Musicals,’ in Theatre and Change in South Africa, ed. G. Davis and A. Fuchs (Amsterdam: Overseas Publishers Association, 1996).Google Scholar
  34. Motsei, M. The Kanga and the Kangaroo Court: Reflections on the Rape Trial of Jacob Zuma (Johannesburg: Jacana, 2007).Google Scholar
  35. Motsei, M. ‘Jacob Zuma’s bankrupt sexual morality afflicts millions of us,’ Johannesburg Sunday Times, News and Opinions section (29 April 2007) 21.Google Scholar
  36. Motuba, I. ‘A Tough Act to Follow,’ Johannesburg Star (Tonight) (12 April 2005).Google Scholar
  37. Moya, F-N. ‘100% Zuluboy,’ Mail and Guardian (6 April 2006).Google Scholar
  38. NAC (National Arts Council). National Arts Council of South Africa: General Information, 2005: http://www.nac.org.za/nac.htm (accessed 1 November 2005).
  39. NFVF (National Film and Video Foundation). NFVF Overview, 2005: http://www.nfvf.co.za/overview.htm (accessed 1 November 2005).
  40. Phelan, P. Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (London and New York: Routledge, 1993).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Purkey, M. ‘Market Forces: Interview with Loren Kruger,’ Theater, 38:1 (2008) 18–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Robinson, J. ‘Johannesburg’s Futures: Beyond Developmentalism and Global Success,’ in Emerging Johannesburg, ed. R. Tomlinson et al. (London and New York: Routledge, 2003), pp. 259–80.Google Scholar
  43. Schechner, R. Performance Theory (London and New York: Routledge, 1988).Google Scholar
  44. SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation). Gaz’lam Series Overview (season 2), 2002: http://www.sabceducation.co.za/gazlam/Gaz_series.html (accessed 30 June 2005; no longer available).
  45. SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation). Gaz’lam: Characters (season 1 and 2), 2002: http://www.sabceducation.co.za/gazlam/Gazlam_Characters.html (accessed 30 June 2005;no longer available).
  46. Simone, A. ‘The Visible and Invisible: Remaking Cities in Africa,’ in Under Siege: Four African Cities — Dokumenta 11: Platform 4, ed. O. Enwezor et al. (Kassel: Hatje Cantz, 2002), pp. 23–44.Google Scholar
  47. Tomlinson, R. et al. (eds) Emerging Johannesburg: Perspectives on the Post-Apartheid City. (London and New York: Routledge, 2003).Google Scholar
  48. Van Graan, M. Green Man Flashing (Cape Town: n.p., 2004).Google Scholar
  49. Van Graan, M. ‘Towards a Free Market’ (interview with Sibongiseni Mkhize), Mail and Guardian (14 January 2005).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Loren Kruger 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loren Kruger

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations