Television theatre : investigating the possibility of a translation of Afrikaans theatre to screen

Binge, Ludwig (2014-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South African theatre and especially Afrikaans theatre has become increasingly dependent on the annual arts festivals. These events only last for a week at a time and most productions are unable to make the move to a larger, more commercial urban venue, and are therefore unable to survive beyond the festival. In addition to being lost to future audiences, little attempt is made to keep record of these productions, which makes research surrounding festival productions very problematic. Television has the ability to make audio-visual records of events and to showcase them to a large audience. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of translating theatre to television for the purpose of expanding the potential audience of Afrikaans theatre productions, while simultaneously making audio-visual records of these events. After the possibilities had been examined, the study began to construct a proposed mode of operation for a season of Afrikaans theatre on television. International trends in the practice of translating theatre to screen were examined which included film and television adaptions of stage plays and live recordings of stage plays. The most significant initiative the study encountered was the NT Live (National Theatre Live) project that records live performance on the stages of the National Theatre, while simultaneously transmitting them live in high definition to cinemas across the globe. The study then shifted its focus to South Africa where it determined what had been done in the practice of translating theatre to screen in this country. The struggle to obtain sufficient and easily accessible information on local examples proved that there is an overall lack of theatre documentation and archiving in South Africa. It also found that South Africa did not have an equivalent to a project such as the NT Live. After discovering that there have been South African television endeavours that involved the recording of live performance, the study used the NT Live initiative as case study in constructing a South African model for television. While constructing a proposed mode of operation for a series of Afrikaans theatre on television, it was indicated how these recordings could serve as a documentation process and research resource for productions. Three possible models for translating theatre to television were constructed to better determine what the possibilities were in terms of the content and format of such a series.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrikaanse teater en veral Afrikaanse teater, is besig om al hoe meer afhanklik van die jaarlikse kunstefeeste te word. Dié geleenthede duur gewoonlik net ‘n week op ‘n slag en vir meeste produksies is dit nie moontlik om ‘n speelvak in die groter, kommersiële teaters in die stede van die grond af te kry nie en dus het die produksies nie ‘n lewe ná die fees nie. Verder gaan moontlike gehore ook verlore en word daar nie veel van ‘n poging aangewend om die produksies te dokumenteer nie, wat navorsing rondom feesproduksies baie problematies maak. Televisie het die vermoë om oudio-visuele rekords van gebeure te maak, sowel as om hierdie gebeure aan ‘n groot gehoor bloot te stel. Die hoofdoelstelling van hierdie studie was om die moontlikheid van ‘n verplasing van teater na televisie te ondersoek, met die doel om Afrikaanse teaterproduksies se potensiële gehoor te verbreed en terselfdertyd oudio-visuele rekords van hierdie produksies te maak. Nadat die studie die moontlikheid ondersoek het, het dit ‘n voorgestelde modes operandi vir ‘n seisoen van Afrikaanse teater vir televisie begin konstrueer. Die studie het internasionale tendense in die praktyk van die verplasing van teater na die groot en klein skerm ondersoek. Die voorbeelde het film- en televisieverwerkings van verhoogstukke, sowel as lewendige opnames van verhoogproduksies ingesluit. Die merkwaardigste inisiatief wat die studie teëgekom het, is sekerlik die NT Live (National Theatre Live) projek, wat lewendige opnamens van toneelopvoerings op die National Theatre se verhoë in London maak en terselfdertyd hierdie opnames lewendig in “high definition” uitsaai na film-teaters regoor die wêreld. Daarna het die studie die fokus verskuif na Suid-Afrika om te probeer vasstel wat al in hierdie land gedoen is in die verplasing van teaterproduksies na die skerm. Die gebrek aan maklik-verkrybare en toeganklike inligting het dit duidelik gemaak dat daar ‘n algehele gebrek aan teaterdokumentasie en die bewaring daarvan is. Die studie het ook ontdek dat Suid-Afrika nie iets soortgelyks aan die NT Live inisiatief het nie. Nadat daar televisieprojekte ontdek is wat wél in een of ander manier die opname van lewendige opvoerings behels, het die studie besluit om die NT Live inisiatief as gevallestudie te gebruik om ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse model vir televisie te skep. In die proses om ‘n moontlike produksieproses vir ‘n seisoen van Afrikaanse teater of televisie te definieer, het die studie ook probeer vasstel hoe hierdie tipe opnames kan dien as ‘n dokumentasieproses en navorsingsbron vir produksies. Drie moontlike modelle vir die verplasing van teater na televisie in reeksvorm is geskep om ‘n beter idee te kry van wat die moontlikhede in terme van die inhoud en formaat van so ‘n reeks is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86320
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