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Famed play staged in SA for the first time

It will be a South African first when the Tshwane University of Technology’s Department of Performing Arts stages August Wilson’s famed African American play, Two Trains Running. Directed by senior lecturer, Dr Karina Lemmer, with Prof Owen Seda, Associate Professor, as dramaturge, the play will be performed as part of the Faculty of Arts and Design’s Arts Festival.

Two Trains Running comes seventh in Wilson’s famed ten-play cycle in which he focuses on the African American condition during the 20th century. Wilson’s ten-play cycle has been hailed for the way the playwright grapples with issues of memory, history, and African American identity at specific moments during each decade of the 20th century.

Set in Pittsburgh in 1969, Two Trains Running deals with issues of history and identity through the deployment of a highly deceptive cause-to-effect linear plot structure.

Cognisant of South Africa’s sad history of apartheid and its similarities with America’s history of racism and deprivation directed at members of the black races, the cast and directors of Two Trains Running cleverly re-interpret the new mobilities notion of travel that is alluded to in the play’s title.

The central theme will not be lost on South African theatregoers who are familiar with the historical gentrification and destruction of Johannesburg’s Sophiatown.

In producing Wilson’s Two Trains Running, TUT’s Department of Performing Arts must be hailed for their innovative re-interpretation of the play and, of course, arguably, for bringing one of the most profound giants and influential playwrights of the contemporary era to the South African stage.

Two Trains Running will be performed at the Breytenbach Theatre from September 24 – 27, at 18:00. The Breytenbach Theatre is situated at 137 Gerhard Moerdyk Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria. Tickets at Webtickets.

More information: 012 382 2630 (office hours).

Scenes from Two Trains Running.


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