EXITS AND ENTRANCES
ATHOL FUGARD – Playwright
Athol Fugard was born in Middelburg in the Eastern Cape and grew up in Port Elizabeth. He is widely regarded as one of South Africa's most prolific writers and directors. Time Magazine has named him the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world.
Fugard's impressive list of plays includes No-Good Friday (1958), Nongogo (1959), The Blood Knot (1961), Hello and Goodbye (1965), People are living there (1968), Boesman and Lena (1969), Orestes (1971), Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act (1972), Sizwe Banzi is Dead, The Island (1973 by Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona), Dimetos (1975), A Lesson from Aloes (1978), "Master Harold" ... and the Boys (1982), The Road to Mecca (1984), A Place with the Pigs (1987), My Children! My Africa! (1989), Playland (1993), Valley Song (1996), The Captain's Tiger (1999), Sorrows and Rejoicings (2002) and Exits and Entrances (2004).
Three of his plays have subsequently been produced as films. They are Boesman and Lena in 1976 and 2000, "Master Harold" ... and the Boys in 1984 and The Road to Mecca in 1992. He also wrote the screenplay for The Guest and Marigolds in August. His Valley Song had its world premiere as an opera in Cape Town in 2005.
He has been honoured with numerous local and international awards and honorary doctorates in recognition of his contribution to theatre.
Karoo Stories, his latest book of short stories, has just been released. Fugard, now 74, is based in Los Angeles, California.
SEAN TAYLOR (André Huguenet)
Sean is well-known for his many stage and television appearances in South Africa before he settled in Australia in 1999. Productions include Angels in America, Other People’s Money, M. Butterfly, American Buffalo, True West, The Double Bass and Skyf. He was seen in the Maynardville productions of The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and he played the title role in Macbeth for NAPAC. From 1992 to 1994 Sean starred in the premiere production of Athol Fugard’s Playland, which toured the country and had a successful season at the Donmar Warehouse in London, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. His foray into major musical theatre includes roles in The King and I and The Threepenny Opera.
Television audiences will remember his award-winning performance in the title role of Barney Barnato, and his role in The Syndicate. Sean has been nominated for a string of Fleur du Cap, Dalro and Vita awards, winning several. Sean, James Whyle and Lyn Maree formed the Take Away Shakespeare Company, and their first production, King Lear, for which Sean won the FNB Vita Best Actor award, played to great acclaim in Grahamstown, the Civic Theatre and in Stellenbosch. He was last seen at the Baxter Theatre Centre in Equus in 1999.
In Australia he has most recently performed in the stage productions of Democracy, Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass and Soulmates. He has also been seen in numerous television productions.
JASON RALPH (The Playwright)
Jason completed his Performance Diploma in Speech and Drama at UCT. He has a number of theatre, film and television credits to his name. His theatre credits include The Rocky Horror Show, La Vida, Play @ Risk, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Olga, Fiela’s Child, As You Like It, Hamlet and "Master Harold" ... and the Boys. Under the direction of Chris Weare, he was seen in Elizabeth, Noises Off, Skyf, Pick-ups and Lovborg’s Women Considered. His theatre roles have garnered him a number of national theatre award nominations.
Television and film credits include leading roles in White Lies, Big Okes, Story of the Sunflower, Sinbad and The Constant K. He is also actively involved in corporate theatre.
JANICE HONEYMAN – Director
After many years as associate director at the Market Theatre and executive artistic director of the Johannesburg Civic Theatre, Janice Honeyman is now a freelance director based in Cape Town. She is well known for her charming stage and television productions for children and as a director of opera, pantomime and musicals, comedies and drama, classic and contemporary works.
By invitation of the Royal Shakespeare Company in London, Janice directed Athol Fugard's Hello and Goodbye with Sir Antony Sher and Estelle Kohler and Julius Hay's Have. She also directed a gala concert for the Celebrate South Africa festival in the Royal Festival Hall. Her most recent direction for the Baxter Theatre Centre was Twaalfde Nag in April 2005. She also recently directed Show Boat for Artscape.
She received a Dalro award as well as the Breytenbach Epathalon for her adaptation of Charles Dickens's Hard Times, and has adapted many other classic literary works for the stage. Among her other directing credits are Rootz, Madiba Magic, Oom Wanja/Uncle Vanya, Cinderella and Die Fledermaus.
She also has a string of other awards and nominations to her name: FNB Vita Theatre award, the Johnnie Walker Achiever award and the Five Roses Young Artist award. After a Fleur du Cap nomination for the direction of the Irish drama The Beauty Queen of Leenane, she was crowned with the award as Best Director for both Nothing But the Truth and Vatmaar. She won the 2004 Fleur du Cap Best Director award for Oom Wanja/Uncle Vanya.
SAUL RADOMSKY – Designer
Saul Radomsky qualified as a Fine Art teacher in South Africa before going to England to study Theatre Design at Nottingham. He has been Resident Designer at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter, the Cambridge Theatre Company, the Oxford Playhouse Company and Hampstead Theatre, London.
He has designed numerous productions in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America and South Africa. These include Macbeth and Whose Life is it Anyway? in India; Awake and Sing, Trumpets and Raspberries and An Absolute Turkey in Israel; Candida and The Taming of the Shrew in Hong Kong; Wife Begins at Forty in Australia; Heartbreak House and Habeas Corpus in South America; and District Six, Poison and Kat and the Kings in South Africa.
Work in the West End includes Small Craft Warnings, Bus Stop, Happy End, Are You Now ... ?, Song Book, Tonight at 8.30, Pass the Butler, The Caine Mutiny Court Marshal with Charlton Heston, Strippers, Wife Begins at Forty, The Italian Straw Hat, Canaries Sometimes Sing, You Never Can Tell, A Touch of the Poet with Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Dalton, Budgie, Rick's Bar Casablanca, Three Men on a Horse, Another Time and Reflected Glory, both with Albert Finney, Hobson's Choice and Kat and the Kings on its international tour, where it won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical and the FNB Vita Award for Best Set Design.
He designed The Mystery Cycle of Plays for the famous York Festival; Anna Christie for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company; Little Hotel on the Side, Jacobowsky and the Colonel and Three Men on a Horse for the National Theatre, which transferred to the West End; and Ring around the Moon, The Heiress, Getting Married, Hobson's Choice and Misalliance for the Chichester Festival.
Last year he tutored two stage design projects with the UCT School of Architecture, which culminated in a public exhibition in the foyer of the Baxter Theatre Centre.
MANNIE MANIM – Lighting Designer
Mannie Manim's association with Athol Fugard as lighting designer or producer started in 1970 with Boesman and Lena and People are Living There at the Alexander Theatre. Since then he has lit and produced all the first South African productions of Fugard's plays in South Africa.
Mannie has been in theatre for 49 years. Recently he has designed the lighting for Nothing But The Truth for its American and Australian tours, The Island in Toronto, where he won Best Lighting Design 2001/2002, at the Old Vic in London, and the BAM Harvey, Brooklyn, and Bizet's Carmen and The Mysteries at Wilton's Music Hall, the Queen's Theatre in London and at the World Stage Festival, Toronto. He was lighting designer for The Mysteries, Carmen, The Beggar's Opera and The Snow Queen for Dimpho Di Kopane at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York, and for Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing at the Strindberg's Intima Theatre in Stockholm. He also lit Twaalfde Nag at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn and at the Baxter Theatre Centre, and Show Boat for Cape Town Opera.
In 1980 he received the Shirley Moss Award for the Greatest Practical and Technical Contribution to Theatre in South Africa, and in 1981 he received the South African Institute of Theatre Technology Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Theatre Technician, Administrator and Lighting Designer. In 1985 Mannie received the first Vita Award for the Most Enterprising Producer. He has received the Vita Best Original Lighting Award ten times. In December 1990 Mannie was made Chevalier des Artes et des Lettres by the French government and in 1996 he was awarded a gold medal for Theatre Development from the South African Academy of Arts and Science. In January last year he was awarded a Naledi Lifetime Achievement Award by the South African Theatre Managements Association.
He is the co-founder of the Market Theatre, and is Chairman of the Committee of the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown. He is Director of the Baxter Theatre Centre.
André Huguenet was born Gerhardus Petrus Borstlap in Bloemfontein in 1906. As a child he won many prizes for elocution. His acting career began when he was 20 years old, and at 25 he formed his own acting company – one of many to come – performing new plays and the classics in Afrikaans. By the mid 1930s Huguenet was a famous Afrikaans actor and producer. Also accomplished in English, he toured the United States, Europe and Russia. His performance as Hamlet in 1947 in Afrikaans was the climax of his career and earned him the Queen's Coronation Medal. His autobiography, Applous, appeared in 1950, the same year he starred as Hassan to great acclaim in London, becoming the first South African actor to be invited to England for a specific part.
His career in the theatre was marked with great successes, yet marred by painful financial failures. Despite these, he celebrated his thirtieth year on the stage in 1956 with a rousing production of Oedipus Rex in English, followed by a production in Afrikaans. By 1959 he was financially and physically ruined. In 1960 he appeared as King Lear, and in April 1961 brought his long and sometimes disheartening theatre career to a close with an outstanding performance as the cardinal in The Prisoner. Huguenet struggled with despair and loneliness. He was found dead in his sister's home on 15 June 1961. The André Huguenet Theatre in Bloemfontein is named in his honour, and Pieter Toerien also named a Johannesburg theatre after him.
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