23 Facts About Athol Fugard


Athol Fugard is best known for his political and penetrating plays opposing the system of apartheid and for the 2005 Oscar-winning film of his novel Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood.


Athol Fugard was an adjunct professor of playwriting, acting and directing in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego.


Athol Fugard is the recipient of many awards, honours, and honorary degrees, including the 2005 Order of Ikhamanga in Silver "for his excellent contribution and achievements in the theatre" from the government of South Africa.


Athol Fugard is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


Athol Fugard was honoured in Cape Town with the opening of the Athol Fugard Theatre in District Six in 2010, and received a Tony Award for lifetime achievement in 2011.


Athol Fugard's mother, Marrie, an Afrikaner, operated first a general store and then a lodging house; his father, Harold Fugard, was a disabled former jazz pianist of Irish, English and French Huguenot descent.


Athol Fugard left home, hitchhiked to North Africa with a friend, and then spent the next two years working in east Asia on a steamer ship, the SS Graigaur, where he began writing, an experience "celebrated" in his 1999 autobiographical play The Captain's Tiger: a memoir for the stage.


Now known as Sheila Athol Fugard, she is a novelist and poet.


In 2016, in New York City Hall, Athol Fugard was married to South African writer and academic Paula Fourie.


For several years, Athol Fugard lived in San Diego, California, where he taught as an adjunct professor of playwriting, acting, and directing in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego.


In 2012, Athol Fugard relocated to South Africa, where he now lives permanently.


In 1958, Athol Fugard organised "a multiracial theatre for which he wrote, directed, and acted", writing and producing several plays for it, including No-Good Friday and Nongogo, in which he and his colleague black South African actor Zakes Mokae performed.


Athol Fugard publicly supported the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the international boycott of South African theatres due to their segregated audiences.


In Mr Athol Fugard's earlier plays he seemed to be dealing with life at a proper level of humanity.


Blankenship stated that the performance he attended featuring "only haphazard sketches of plot and character" was perhaps the result of Athol Fugard allowing director Suzanne Shepard to revise the play without showing him the changes.


Athol Fugard developed these two plays for the Serpent Players in workshops, working with John Kani and Winston Ntshona, publishing them in 1974 with his own play Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act.


Athol Fugard appeared in his A Place With the Pigs at the Yale Rep in New Haven CT, in 1987.


The first play that Athol Fugard wrote after the end of apartheid, Valley Song, was premiered in Johannesburg, in August, 1995, with Athol Fugard in the role of both a white, and of a coloured, farmer.


In October 1995, Athol Fugard took the play to the United States with a production by the Manhattan Theatre Club at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey.


In January 2009, Athol Fugard returned to New Haven for the premiere in the Coming Home.


Athol Fugard's plays are produced internationally, have won multiple awards, and several have been made into films.


Athol Fugard himself performed in the first of these, as Boesman alongside Yvonne Bryceland as Lena, in Boesman and Lena directed by Ross Devenish in 1973.


Outside of his own work, Athol Fugard has a number of cameo film roles, most notably as General Smuts in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi, and as Doctor Sundesval in Sydney Schanberg's The Killing Fields.