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Monthly Archives: October 2008

I’ve found a lot to influence me in South African theatre (though far more in Johannesburg than in Cape Town) and I should probably write specifically about all that the Zwakala theatre festival of community performance gave me to think about. I was able to hang out a bit with some of the artists and later to visit with a wonderful director and theatre creator in Alexandra Township, Ntshieng Mokgoro, in the community space where she works. In brief, looking at all this work has both been inspiring in the ways you might expect and also lead me to think a lot about the role of entertainment and “artisticness” in “applied” theatre work. More on that later, maybe, because I feel challenged by comments the marvelous Mandla Mbothwe made to us in Cape Town about the problematics of dwelling on aesthetics, as well as the whole festival context…

OK, so there’s been a lot going on that has related to the DR project, but in terms of the “formal” listening rehearsals, the work in JHB has been no less wonderful for being quite informal, and my meeting with the fascinating Market Theatre Lab education officer Dan Robertse on 13 October was a case in point. Read More »


I had a brief but very interesting meeting with Pieter-Dirk after seeing his performance in Darling, SA. If you haven’t heard of his work you should visit his web site. His performances trample gleefully through the thicket of South African political and racial culture. I was struck by how ready he was to place violence in the list of topics where humor can be found, and he encouraged me to be “fearless” in approaching the humor that audiences can find in the most horrible things.

On an aesthetic/technical note, I loved hearing him talk about why there are no blackouts in his show: “once you’ve got a blackout, you’ve got someone waiting for a cue. I don’t want to have to give a cue!” Food for thought for me, as you can imagine.