Fugard, Athol

▪ South African dramatist
in full  Athol Harold Lannigan Fugard  
born June 11, 1932, Middleburg, S.Af.
 South African dramatist, actor, and director who became internationally known for his penetrating and pessimistic analyses of South African society during the apartheid period.

      Fugard's earliest plays were No-Good Friday and Nongogo (both published in Dimetos and Two Early Plays, 1977), but it was The Blood Knot (1963), produced for stage (1961) and television (1967) in both London and New York City, that established his reputation. The Blood Knot, dealing with brothers who fall on opposite sides of the racial colour line, was the first in a sequence Fugard called “The Family Trilogy.” The series continued with Hello and Goodbye (1965) and Boesman and Lena (1969) and was later published under the title Three Port Elizabeth Plays (1974). Boesman and Lena, filmed in 1973 with Fugard as Boesman, played to a wider audience than any previous South African play; another film adaptation was released in 2000.

      Fugard's willingness to sacrifice character to symbolism caused some critics to question his commitment. Provoked by such criticism, Fugard began to question the nature of his art and his emulation of European dramatists. He began a more imagist approach to drama, not using any prior script but merely giving actors what he called “a mandate” to work around “a cluster of images.” From this technique derived the imaginative if shapeless drama of Orestes (published in Theatre One: New South African Drama, 1978), and the documentary expressiveness of Siswe Bansi Is Dead, The Island, and Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act (all published in Statements: Three Plays, 1974).

      A much more traditionally structured play, Dimetos (1977), was performed at the 1975 Edinburgh Festival. A Lesson from Aloes (published 1981) and “Master Harold”…and the Boys (1982) were performed to much acclaim in London and New York City, as was The Road to Mecca (1985; film 1992), the story of an eccentric older woman about to be confined against her will in a nursing home. Throughout the 1970s and '80s Fugard worked to create and sustain theatre groups that, despite South African drama's particular vulnerability to censorship, produced plays defiantly indicting the country's apartheid policy.

      After the dismantling of apartheid laws in 1990–91, Fugard's focus turned increasingly to his personal history. In 1994 he published the memoir Cousins, and throughout the 1990s he wrote plays—including Playland (1992), Valley Song (1996), and The Captain's Tiger (1997)—that have strong autobiographical elements. Subsequent plays include Sorrows and Rejoicings (2002), about a poet who returns to South Africa after years of exile, and Victory, first performed in 2007, a stark examination of postapartheid South Africa.

      Films in which Fugard acted include Marigolds in August (1980; written with Ross Devenish) and The Killing Fields (1984). Fugard also wrote the novel Tsotsi (1980; film 2005). Notebooks, 1960–1977 (1983) collects selections from Fugard's journals, and Karoo, and Other Stories (2005) is a compilation of short stories and journal extracts.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fugard,Athol — Fu·gard (fyo͞oʹgärd, fo͞oʹ ), Athol. Born 1932. South African playwright and director whose works, including Master Harold... and the Boys (1982), explore racial tension and inequality in South Africa, especially during apartheid. * * * …   Universalium

  • Fugard, Athol (Harold Lannigan) — born June 11, 1932, Middleburg, S.Af. South African playwright, director, and actor. He wrote two plays before The Blood Knot (1961), a penetrating analysis of apartheid, established his international reputation. He resumed the theme in Hello and …   Universalium

  • Fugard, Athol (Harold Lannigan) — (n. 11 jun. 1932, Middleburg, Sudáfrica). Dramaturgo, director y actor sudafricano. En 1961 escribió su tercera obra El nudo de sangre (1961), un profundo análisis del apartheid que le otorgó el reconocimiento internacional. Insistió en el tema… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Athol Fugard — *imdb name|id=0297538|name=Athol Fugard. * [http://www.lortel.org/LLA archive/index.cfm?search by=people keyword=name first=Athol last=Fugard middle= Athol Fugard] at the Internet Off Broadway Database (IOBDb). *… …   Wikipedia

  • Fugard — Harold Athol Lannigan Fugard (* 11. Juni 1932 in Middelburg/Great Karoo in Südafrika) ist ein südafrikanischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 Auszeichnungen 4 Literatur 5 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Athol Fugard — est un acteur, directeur de théâtre, dramaturge, écrivain, metteur en scène, pédagogue, producteur, réalisateur et scénariste sud africain, de son nom complet Harold Athol Lanigan Fugard, né le 11 juin 1932 à Middelburg (en) (Cap… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fugard —   [ fjuːgɑːd, fjuːgəd], Athol Halligan, südafrikanischer Schriftsteller, * Middelburg (Provinz Ost Kap) 11. 6. 1932; schuf durch gezielten Einsatz einfachster technischer Mittel, knappe Besetzung, Betonung der Persönlichkeit des Schauspielers und …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Fugard — [fo͞o′gärd, fyo͞o′gärd] Athol [ath′ôl, ath′əl] 1932 ; South African playwright …   English World dictionary

  • Athol Fugard — Harold Athol Lannigan Fugard (* 11. Juni 1932 in Middelburg/Great Karoo in Südafrika) ist ein südafrikanischer Schriftsteller und Dramatiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 Auszeichnungen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fugard — noun South African playwright whose plays feature the racial tensions in South Africa during apartheid (born in 1932) • Syn: ↑Athol Fugard • Instance Hypernyms: ↑dramatist, ↑playwright * * * /fyooh gahrd, fooh /, n. Athol (Harold), born 1932,… …   Useful english dictionary

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