Written by the powerful, dramatic voice of South Africa, Playland is set on New Year’s Eve outside a Karoo town where a small, shabby travelling amusement park is encamped in the clay dust. Martinus Zoeloe, the black night watchman, is repairing a bumper car when Gideon le Rous wanders in. He is white, a former army noncom whose car has stalled outside the park. Gideon needs Martinus’ help to get his car started. It’s the eve of the century’s final decade: the millennium approaches.
What draws us to this play
There is tension, emotional violence, vulnerability, and relevance. What are we to do with the people who live, but struggle to survive the internal mindscape of post-war reconciliation? When the unspeakable has been done in numb righteousness and disregard for humanity, can you move on when you have nothing, but time to feel and contemplate? There is something at play with masculinity, that I doubt is entirely intentional on the playwright’s part, but comes in stark relief in the absence of women to hang it upon.
Playland by Athol Fugard
directed by Laylah Muran de Assereto
Venue and Date TBD
Featuring: Rick Roitinger, Geoffrey Grier, and Dan Schwager
About the playwright
Athol Fugard is an internationally acclaimed South African playwright, director, and actor whose best-known work deals with the political and social upheaval of the apartheid system in South Africa since the mid-50s. He was educated at the University of Cape Town. His plays include Master Harold and the Boys, The Blood Knot, My Children! My Africa, A Lesson from Aloes, The Island, and the award-winning Sizwe Banzi is Dead. He is also the author of the novel Tsotsi, which was made into an Academy Award winning film. Mr. Fugard has received six honorary degrees from esteemed colleges and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His plays have been produced on Broadway as well as at major theaters around the world.