Greg Homann discusses new SA contemporary theatre

Greg Homann. pic Timmy Henny (6)

Greg Homann. Photo: Timmy Henny

TWIST Theatre Development Projects is hosting a series of free interactive “In Conversation With” sessions in KwaZulu-Natal to launch The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary South African Theatre – a definitive book which looks at the history, status and context of South African contemporary theatre – written by Greg Homann.

“The aim of the book is to give a comprehensive introduction and survey of South African plays with a weighting towards work from approximately 1990 to the present,” he said.

The book is the fourth volume in the international Methuen drama series.

Homann’s series of “In Conversation With” sessions will consider some of the themes, issues, trends and anecdotes unearthed while he researched the book.

He will be at the Courtyard Theatre, at Durban University of Technology in Durban at 10 am on Wednesday, April 6; at 1.30 pm on the same day at the Hexagon Theatre, where he will be hosted by University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg campus’ drama department.

Homann’s final event will be an informal “lounge lecture” at UKZN’s Durban drama and performance studies department at 6 pm on Wednesday in the departmental library.

Participants are invited to thereafter attend the public performance of Homeland at 7.30 pm at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Homeland, Flatfoot Dance Company’s new production of work by Lliane Loots and Sbonakaliso Ndaba, looks at the concept of “Home”.

Cover image

The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary South African Theatre by Greg Homann.

The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary South African Theatre, written by Homann – the 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre – and co-edited with him by Professor Martin Middeke and Peter Paul Schnierer.

The aim of the book is to give a comprehensive introduction and survey of South African plays with a weighting towards work from approximately 1990 to the present.

Middeke, who is the chair of English Literature at Augsburg University in Germany, said: “This is the fourth volume in a series I have been involved in for Methuen Drama, two volumes on Irish and British Contemporary Playwrights were published in 2010 and 2011, the third one on Contemporary American playwrights will was published in 2014.”

The book, which is published by Methuen Drama in London and New York, discusses more than a hundred South African plays in detail, while referencing many more.

It starts with a concise introduction by Middeke, Schnierer and Homann, and is followed by contributions from Sarah Roberts, Jane Taylor, Yvette Hutchison, Robyn Sassen, Emma Durden, Veronica Baxter, Dennis Walder, Anton Krueger, Adrienne Sichel, Kene Igweonu, Loren A. Kruger, Brent Meersman, Michael Titlestad, Muff Andersson, Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr., Mervyn McMurtry, Miki Flockeman, Rolf Solberg, Marcia Blumberg, and Homann.

The volume includes:

  • overview essays on the pioneers’ like Gcina Mhlophe, Gibson Kente, Barney Simon, Mbongeni Ngema; Phyllis Klotz;
  • contemporary collaborators such as William Kentridge, Handspring Puppet Company, and Magnet Theatre;
  • physical theatre from the likes of Andrew Buckland, Sylvaine Strike, Robyn Orlin, Athena Mazarakis, Janine Collocott; Gerard Bester, Craig Morris, Roberto Pombo;
  • popular community theatre from Emuhle All Artists and Umsindo Theatre Projects; and
  • theatre makers in one-person format which highlights work by Phillip M Dikotla, Omphile Molusi, Rajesh Gopie and Greig Coetzee.There is also a look at the work of new emerging   playwrights and theatre makers like Amy Jephta, Napo Masheane, Mongi Mthombeni, Genna Gardini, Neil Coppen, Juliet Jenkins and Tara Notcutt.
  • the volume concludes with an interview with the artistic director of the South African State Theatre, Aubrey Sekhabi.
  • individual playwrights discussed include Athol Fugard, Reza de Wet, Paul Slabolepszy, Zakes Mda, Lara Foot, Mike van Graan, Craig Higginson, Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom, Brett Bailey, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Fatima Dike and Yaël Farber.

Homann is most well-known for his work as a theatre director across a broad range of styles and forms, but he is also an academic, actor, and playwright. He directed A Voice I Cannot Silence, Delirium and OEDIPUS @ KOÖ-NÚ, all of which have been staged at the Hilton Arts Festival.

When not directing, he works as academic and lecturer, and is a resident dramaturge at the SA State Theatre where he assists with the development of new local plays.

He has a BA Dramatic Art degree from Wits and an MA in Text and Performance Studies with distinction from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and King’s College London.

 

Entry to the events is free. Inquiries: Roel Twijnstra at 079 2619986 or email rtwijnstra@gmail.com

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