Post-apartheid Literature Criticism: Post-Apartheid Drama - Essay

Zakes Mda (essay date 1995)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Mda, Zakes. “Theater and Reconciliation in South Africa.” Theater 25, no. 3 (1995): 38-45.

[In the following essay, Mda examines the characteristics of South Africa's “theater of reconciliation,” noting that to truly fulfill such a role, theater must neither ignore nor cling to the past.]

In South Africa, a society which has been, for centuries, characterized by racial segregation, political oppression, and economic exploitation, culture has always played a role both to reinforce these conditions and to challenge them. Here I shall attempt to show how the products of our culture, with particular emphasis on theater, have responded to these conditions,...

(The entire section is 5415 words.)

Michael Chapman (essay date 1996)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Chapman, Michael. “The Black Theatre Model: Towards an Aesthetic of South African Theatre.” In Southern African Literatures, pp. 360-68. London, England: Longman, 1996.

[In the following excerpt, Chapman traces the course of theater in South Africa from the 1960s through the 1990s, focusing on the works of Athol Fugard, Zakes Mda, and Mbongeni Ngema.]

An upsurge of black theatre in South Africa in the 1970s characterised political and cultural consciousness-raising and identified the Black Consciousness movement as a powerful source of resistance to apartheid. It was a theatre adaptable to both popular expression, as in the play Sarafina!, and to...

(The entire section is 3377 words.)

Donald M. Morales (essay date 2000)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Morales, Donald M. “Post Apartheid Drama.” In African Visions: Literary Images, Political Change, and Social Struggle in Contemporary Africa, edited by Cheryl B. Mwaria, Silvia Federici, and Joseph McLaren, pp. 253-65. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000.

[In the following essay, Morales evaluates the influence of politics on post-apartheid drama, noting that political issues afford both artistic opportunities and thematic limitations.]

In Esiaba Irobi's play, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh (1989), the Nigerian playwright turns the long-standing debate on Wole Soyinka's linguistic complexity into high comedy. The setting is an African Writers'...

(The entire section is 5925 words.)