Staging the criminalised society : contemporary South African theatre's response to the social insecurity caused by violent crime in South Africa over the past decade (2002 - 2012)

Williams, Candice Lynn (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The potential to fall victim to violent crime is an ever-present threat in contemporary South African society that many South Africans have resigned themselves to. It is also one of the few aspects of South African society that is common to all races, genders, cultures, locations, and socio-economic backgrounds. It is a popular topic of public debate and violent crime regularly features in all forms of news media. However, this prevalence is not mirrored in the original theatre productions that have been created since the crime wave began in the early 1990s. The aim of this study is to investigate and find ways to categorise the South African plays that have been created in response to the crime problem. It will highlight patterns in this body of work that could be used by theatre-makers and scholars to understand this subject matter, how it is being received by South African audiences and how theatre-makers have approached the creative process of generating work responding to this theme thus far. This research study primarily makes use of empirical information collected from a combination of watching the selected plays, reading their scripts and reading reviews of these productions. This study also makes use of information obtained from various publications in the fields of criminology, psychology and sociology, as well as information gathered from newspaper articles and the statistics released by agencies such as the Institute for Security Studies and Stats SA. In order to discuss how portrayals of violent crimes are choreographed and how these portrayals affect viewers/ consumers. Through an analysis of the data on the South African crime wave that emerges from these various sources, a picture begins to emerge of a generally misunderstood phenomenon that is unique to South African society; crime rates are undoubtedly high, but the ‘crime wave’, appears to have more to do with perceptions than with rising incidences of violent crime. This is reflected in the theatrical engagement with the crime wave thus far; it is as diverse as are the perceptions of the prevalence of violent crime in South Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die potensiaal om ʼn slagoffer van misdaad te word, is vandag ʼn alomteenwoordige realiteit en vir baie Suid-Afrikaners is dit onvermydelik. Dit is ook een van die min ervaringe in Suid-Afrika wat elke ras, geslag, kultuurgroep en sosiaal-ekonomiese agtergrond tref. Misdadigheid is ook ʼn gewilde onderwerp van bespreking en is gereeld op die voorgrond in die media. Die toneelstukke wat egter sedert die opkoms van die misdaadgolf opgevoer is, verteenwoordig nie die gewildheid van die gesprek oor die misdaadgolf nie. Die doelwit van hierdie navorsing is om die Suid-Afrikaanse opvoerings wat geskep is as ʼn reaksie teen die misdaadprobleem te ondersoek en te kategoriseer sodat teaterakademikuste en -praktisyne die probleem van misdaad in Suid-Afrika beter kan verstaan; asook hoe teatergangers die toneelstukke ervaar en hoe teaterpraktisyne die kreatiewe skepping van nuwe werke oor die misdaadprobleem tot dusver behandel het. Hierdie navorsingsprojek maak meestal gebruik van empiriese inligting oor die gekose toneelstukke wat versamel is deur ‘n kombinasie van die draaiboeke en resensies te lees, en teaterbesoeke af te lê. Hierdie navorsing maak ook gebruik van inligting wat verkry is in die studievelde van kriminologie, sielkunde en sosiologie boeke en artikels, sowel as koerante en statistieke wat deur die Instituut vir Veiligheidsnavorsing en Stats SA beskikbaargestel is. Hoe die vertonings van geweld op die verhoog uitgebeeld is en hoe hierdie vertonings die teatergangers affekteer word laastens bespreek. Deur die deeglike ondersoek van al hierdie vorms van data oor die Suid-Afrikaanse misdaadgolf, kan dit duidelik erken word dat die misdaadgolf verkeerd begryp is en dat dit uniek aan Suid-Afrika is. Misdadigheid en die gevolge daarvan is beslis ‘n buitengewone gemeenskapsprobleem, maar die uitgebreide gesprek oor misdadigheid is blykbaar meer beinvloed deur waarnemings as deur werklike gevalle van geweldadige misdaad. Suid-Afrikaanse teater wat geskep is as ʼn reaksie teen die misdaadprobleem weerspieël die diversiteit van verskillende ervarings van die misdaadgolf in Suid-Afrika.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98796
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