The Dramatic Art of Athol Fugard

The Dramatic Art of Athol Fugard

From South Africa to the World
Albert Wertheim
Distribution: World
Publication date: 09/28/2001
Format: Paperback 24 b&w photos, 1 bibliog., 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21504-8
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Description

Albert Wertheim’s study of Fugard’s plays is both extremely insightful and beautifully written... This book is aimed not only at teachers, students, scholars, and performers of Fugard but also at the person who simply loves going to see a Fugard play at the theatre." —Nancy Topping Bazin, Eminent Scholar and Professor Emerita, Old Dominion University

Athol Fugard is considered one of the most brilliant, powerful, and theatrically astute of modern dramatists. The energy and poignancy of his work have their origins in the institutionalized racism of his native South Africa, and more recently in the issues facing a new South Africa after apartheid. Albert Wertheim analyzes the form and content of Fugard’s dramas, showing that they are more than a dramatic chronicle of South African life and racial problems. Beginning with the specifics of his homeland, Fugard’s plays reach out to engage more far-reaching issues of human relationships, race and racism, and the power of art to evoke change. The Dramatic Art of Athol Fugard demonstrates how Fugard’s plays enable us to see that what is performed on stage can also be performed in society and in our lives; how, inverting Shakespeare, Athol Fugard makes his stage the world.

Author Bio

Albert Wertheim is Professor of English and of Theatre and Drama at Indiana University. He has published widely on modern and classic British and American drama and on post-colonial writing; directed several NEH seminars on politics in the theatre and on new literatures from Africa, the West Indies, and the Pacific; and served on the editorial boards of American Drama, Theatre Survey, South African Theatre Journal, and Westerly.

Reviews

“"This is a magesterial book that will prove indispensable to theatre artists and scholars alike. . . ." —Theatre Journal One of the most brilliant, powerful, and theatrically astute of modern dramatists is South African playwright Athol Fugard ("MASTER HAROLD" ... and the boys). The energy and poignancy of Fugard's work have their origins in the institutionalized racism of his native South Africa, and more recently in the issues facing a new South Africa after apartheid. Here, Albert Wertheim analyzes the form and content of Fugard's dramas, showing that they are more than simply a dramatic chronicle of South African life and racial problems.”

“Wertheim's study has two particular strengths (among many): its insight into the evolution of the playwright, especially the influence of Albert Camus, Bertolt Brecht, and Samuel Beckett on Fugard's canon, and its illumination of the symbolic props in the plays, e.g., the shoes and stockings in People Are Living There. An authoritative work superbly written, this book is well suited to upper-division undergraduates and above.November 2001”
 — Choice

“Wertheim's study has two particular strengths (among many): its insight into the evolution of the playwright, especially the influence of Albert Camus, Bertolt Brecht, and Samuel Beckett on Fugard's canon, and its illumination of the symbolic props in the plays, e.g., the shoes and stockings in People Are Living There. An authoritative work superbly written, this book is well suited to upper-division undergraduates and above.November 2001”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1. Early Work and Early Themes
2. The Port Elizabeth Plays: The Voice with Which We Speak from the Heart
3. 'Acting' Against Apartheid
4. Dimetos: Fugard's First Problem Play
5. The Drama as Teaching and Learning: Trauerspiel, Tragedy, Hope and Race
6. The Other Problem Plays
7. Writing to Right: Scripting Apartheid's Demise
8. Where Do We, Where Do I, Go from Here?: Performing a New South Africa

Works Cited
Index