"Lapsing into Democracy’: Un(der)speaking Theatre in the Transitional State" is the title of a lecture by Professor Mark Fleishman of the University of Cape Town.
The lecture is part of the UMass Theater Department's week-long residency with South Africa's Magnet Theatre Company.
In 1835, in his Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: ‘If you were to judge beforehand of the literature of a people which is lapsing into democracy, study its dramatic productions.’
This talk will focus on South Africa as a society in transition, ‘lapsing into democracy’, using the work that Prof. Fleishman has been engaged in with his company, Magnet Theatre, since 1994. Mapping the relationship between theatre and human rights, not in the overt sense in which theatre engaged human rights abuses under apartheid, but in a much more subtle way that renders certain ideas, groups, topics ‘unspeakable,’ Prof Fleishman will discuss the challenges contemporary South African theatre faces as the ANC government effectively “silences” and marginalizes this vibrant art form. Please join us for this timely case study about theatre, power and the pursuit of freedom by one of South Africa’s foremost theatre scholars and practitioners.