SINGING FOR THE FATHERLAND:FOUR SOUTH AFRICAN PROTEST PLAYS BY SUNTIHA PANDAY REG NO: 8129144 SUPERVISOR: PROF. JEAN-PHILIPPE WADE Submitted to the Faculty of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Masters of Arts degree. November 2004
Declaration I, Sunitha Pan day, declare that this research under the title of: Theatre in South Africa (Apartheid and Post- Apartheid) is my own work. I have fully acknowledged all the sources I have used. I would also state that this work has never been submitted for any other degree or examination in any other university. Signa ......"'~ Miss. S. Panday November 2004 Durban
CONTENT PAGE INTRODUCTION: PREFACE 1-3 AIMS OF THE THESIS OUTLINE OF EACH CHAPTER CHAPTER ONE: HISTORICAL CONTEXT 4-11 COLONIALISM EFFECTS OF APARTHEID THE AFRICAN INTELLECTUAL CHAPTER TWO: SOUTH AFRICAN PROTEST THEATRE 12-19 TYPES OF PROTEST THEATRE TECHNIQUES USED IN SOUTH AFRICAN THEATRE CHAPTER THREE: WOZA ALBERT 20-31 PHILOSOPHY THEMES PLOT CHARACTERS THE LANDSCAPE CHAPTER FOUR: STATEMENTS AFTER ARREST 32-44 UNDER THE IMMORALITY ACT PHILOSOPHY THEMES PLOT CHARACTERS THE LANDSCAPE CHAPTER FIVE: WE SHALL SING FOR THE FATHER LAND 45-57 PHILOSOPHY THEMES PLOT CHARACTERS THE LANDSCAPE CHAPTER SIX: VALLEY SONG 58-69 PHILOSOPHY THEMES PLOT CHARACTERS THE LANDSCAPE CHAPTER SEVEN: CONCLUSION 70-73 BIBLIOGRAPHY 74-83
INTRODUCTION South African Theatre is renowned for its combination of protest and innovation. Works by playwrights and theatre practitioners as varied as Athol Fugard, Gcina Mhlophe, Barney Simon, John Kani, Mbongeni Ngema and Fatima Dike, as well as groups ... have excited audience and critics at home and abroad by engaging with immediate issues of apartheid through collaborative techniques which have crossed race and class boundaries, thereby challenging not just conventions of mainstream Western theatre, but also the very laws of the country. (Blumberg &Walder, 1999: 1) Thus South African protest theatre has always been a vehicle through which the voice of South Africans, irrespective of race, could be heard. The theatre was a tool for healing, for empowerment, to educate, to reinforce unity and identity, and a weapon to fight with against oppression. Theatre even continued to fulfil this responsibility once apartheid had been dismantled. Four South African plays (two apartheid plays and two post-apartheid) will be critically examined .The plays are: Woza Albert, Statements After Arrest under the Immorality Act, We Shall Sing For The Fatherland, and The Valley Song. The plays will be evaluated in terms of philosophy, themes, plot, characters, landscape and theatre techniques. Chapter one examines the historical context of South Africa from the period of colonialism, through the years of apartheid. It explores the effects of apartheid on the
2 non - European communities. The physical and psychological damage is examined. It also addresses the importance of theatre in post-apartheid South Africa.