Black

Performed by: Jade Bowers Design & Management

No director listed

No playwright listed

Jade Bowers (2016 Standard Bank Young Artist, Naledi Theatre Awards Best Director for Scorched) and Ameera Patel (Naledi Theatre Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Scorched) join forces to present ‘Black’. Based on CA Davids’ 2014 novel ‘The Blacks of Cape Town’, Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award-winning writer/director Penny Youngleson has written an adaptation for stage which intricately balances the poetry and pain of discovery, of unpacking history and the drama of family politics. Accomplished actress Patel tackles her first one-hander, under the directorial hand of Bowers, and with musical composition and accompaniment by Daniel Geddes.

While based abroad, historian Zara Black (Patel) learns via an officious but vague letter from the South African government, that documents once sealed and implicating her father in an act (which, while not clearly defined, was committed against the anti-apartheid movement decades earlier) will soon be released to the public. The resultant unearthing of her own past begins with Isaiah Black – the grandfather that ‘started it all’ when he stole a handful of diamonds from one of the world’s largest diamond mines in Kimberley. This act, however, is overshadowed by what the family considers his far greater crime – concealing his (mixed) race to escape the harsh realities of the mines before abandoning his mother and ultimately changing his name. His choice of surname is not without irony; because having been classified as mixed, he had passed as white, but had given rise to a line of coloured children and grandchildren. His granddaughter Zara finds herself alone and displaced in New Jersey, caught up in the excitement of an American election of a new and historic president, while trying to make sense of South Africa of the past and present: constructing a history for herself and her family from fragmented recollections and family lore.

Details

Duration:
65min
Recommended Age:
12 years – Adult
Recommended Grade:
Grade 7 – Grade 12
Language(s):
English (first language) No second language listed.
Curriculum Connection:
Creative Arts, Dramatic Arts, History, Life Orientation/Life Skills, Social Sciences
Themes Covered:
Choices, Cultural diversity, Discrimination, Family dynamics, Identity, Life skills, Loss, Prejudice

Highlights

Festivals attended: National Arts Festival 2017, PopArt Johannesburg 2017, Alexander Bar Upstairs Cape Town 2017
Schools that have seen this: Lebone College