Athol Fugard

Fugard, Athol (Athol Harold Lanigan Fugard)ätōlˈ fyōˈgard, fō–, 1932–, South African playwright, actor, and director. In 1965 he became director of the Serpent Players in Port Elizabeth; in 1972 he was a founder of Cape Town's Space Experimental Theatre. One of the first white playwrights to collaborate with black actors and workers, Fugard writes of the frustrations of life in contemporary South Africa and of overcoming the psychological barriers created by apartheid. Some of his works, such as Blood Knot (1960), the first in his family trilogy, were initially banned in South Africa. Widely acclaimed, his plays include Boesman and Lena (1969), Sizwe Bansi Is Dead (1972), A Lesson from Aloes (1978), the semiautobiographical work Master Harold … and the Boys (1982), The Road to Mecca (1985), and Playland (1993). In his first two postapartheid plays, Valley Song (1995) and The Captain's Tiger (1998), Fugard addresses rather personal concerns, but in Sorrows and Rejoicings (2001) he focuses on the complex racial dynamics of South Africa's new era. In Victory (2007), Fugard uses his experience as a burglary victim to dramatize a bleak contemporary South Africa, where theft and violence thrive. Fugard has also written one novel, Tsotsi (1980).

See also his Notebooks 1960–1977 (1983) and Cousins: A Memoir (1998).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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