Athol Fugard Essay

686 words - 3 pages

Athol Harold Lannigan Fugard was a South African dramatist, actor, and director was born in Middelburg, South Africa in 1932. His full name is Harold Athol Lanigan Fugard and as a child he was known as Hally before he decided he wanted to be called Athol. Fugard is white with English and Afrikaner parents. He was brought up in Port Elizabeth, South Africa with English as his mother tongue. Fugard went to the University of Cape Town but dropped out just before the exams to hitch hike through Africa.In September 1956, he married Sheila Meiring, a University of Cape Town Drama School student whom he had met the previous year. She is now known as Sheila Fugard, she is a novelist and poet. Their daughter,Lisa Fugard, is also a novelist.The Fugard family moved to Johannesburg in 1958, Athol worked in a Native Commissioners court as a clerk making him relentlessly aware of the inequality of Apartheid. After Fugard's experience in acting he began to write plays which was mostly set in South Africa and submerged in the politics of the day which was the apartheid and now post-apartheid. Nonetheless politics never affects his discernment into people.The political catalyst of Fugard's plays brought him into conflict with the national government to avoid prosecution, he had his plays produced and published outside South Africa.He and his wife live in San Diego, California, where he teaches as an adjunct professor of playwriting, acting, and directing in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego but they maintain a residence in South Africa. Fugard became internationally known for his penetrating and pessimistic analyses of South African society during the apartheid period.Athol Fugard has been a great contribution to theatre he uses his personal experiences and reflects them in his plays. Fugard's work ranges from real life inspired stories and personal accounts to political theatre protesting South Africa's inhumane practices and laws. Regardless of his themes, or where his plays lie in his overall body of work, Fugard's...

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