Krista’s recent interview with Desmond Tutu (listen for it at the end of April) has us all contemplative about the current state of South Africa. The New York Times recently published this article about renowned playwright Athol Fugard:
“The hope is that the Fugard and its resident acting ensemble will attract people of all races to mingle on its upholstered benches. Eric Abraham, the South African-born film and theater producer who has financed both the theater and Isango Portobello, said he believes the talents of the acting ensemble will prove to be ‘an antidote to prejudice.’ The seating has been intentionally left open so serendipity can bring people together.
Although it isn’t there yet…
“The theater’s organizers acknowledge that they have a long way to go in building a multiracial audience. On a recent Wednesday evening, virtually every person at ‘The Magic Flute’ was white, a fact regretfully noted by the theatergoers themselves.
‘It looks like the Cape Town liberal elite,’ said Jacky Davis, a British doctor who volunteered in a black township 30 years ago and was visiting the city as a tourist.
Mr. Fugard said in an interview that the new democratic South Africa — struggling with poverty and corruption, among other challenges — needs the arts of stagecraft ‘as urgently as the old South Africa needed those first few daring, sometimes suicidal acts of defiance in the theater.’”