Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quotidian Theatre Presents “Master Harold” . . .and the boys

We’re always glad to have the Quotidian Theatre Company perform at The Writer’s Center, and we'd like to draw attention to their current production of Athol Fugard’s “Master Harold” . . .and the boys. Their production recently received very good reviews from Tim Treanor in DC Theatre Scene, Barbara Mackay in The Washington Examiner, and Brett Abelman in DCist.

General admission tickets are $25, but only $10 for Writer’s Center members. Performances run through April 17, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., with an additional 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, April 16. The play is directed by Bob Bartlett and features actors Ben Davis, Jason B. MacIntosh, and Theodore M. Snead.

Fugard, born in 1932 grew up in South Africa, and was a vocal critic of apartheid. In 1958 he formed an inter-racial theatre in which he wrote, directed and acted. His work the subsequent years often examined race relations and the effects of apartheid. “Master Harold" . . . and the boys, though a work of fiction, is cited as a particularly autobiographical play. It explores the friendship between a boy and a Black man employed by his mother. Recalling his childhood friendship with Sam Semela a Black South African, Fugard notes: “But there was ambivalence in my relationship with him: a love hate thing. I couldn’t come to terms with his difference. And as a little white boy, ten or eleven years old, I had authority over this powerful mature man of about twenty-eight.”

Program notes for the production include biographic information drawn from Truths the Hand Cannot Touch: The Theatre of Athol Fugard by Russell Vandenbrouke.

“A little white boy dealing with his indoctrination in South Africa,
turning me into a little racist – because that is what that society
tried to do to me. Thank God I had a mother who fought against
it – and also Sam and Willie who were teaching me lessons that
finally liberated me.”
Athol Fugard - November 2002

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