The Island

The Swarthmore College Department of Theater presents:

The Island by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona
Fri-Sat, Feb 12-13, 2010 at 8 pm
Sun, Feb 14, 2010 at 3 pm
Frear Ensemble Theatre
Lang Performing Arts Center

Apartheid South Africa 1974. It’s been 3 years since John and Winston were imprisoned on Robben Island. 3 years since they were driven 500 miles, standing in a van that was packed so tight they couldn’t fall down. 3 years without freedom songs, 3 years of digging holes, beatings from guards, and waiting. Now as the two men prepare to put on a production of Antigone for their fellow inmates, they receive news that will make the next 3 months last longer than the past 3 years.

The Island, written by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona in 1973, is inspired by a true story of Apartheid-era South Africa. The play was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play, and John Kani and Winston Ntshona were honored with Tony Awards for Best Lead Actors in a Play in 1975. Athol Fugard is one of South Africa’s most prolific playwrights, having written over 30 plays including Blood Knot, Master Harold and the Boys, and Boseman and Lena. He founded the Serpent Players, an anti-apartheid theater group whose work had to be produced outside of South Africa because of its political content. John Kani is known as the Grandfather of South African Theater and has worked as a director, actor and playwright. He is a founder and director of Market Theater Laboratory and chairman of the National Arts Council of South Africa. Winston Ntshona is an actor and playwright. Since starting his career with the Serpent Players, Ntshona has appeared in a number of international film roles including The Wild Geese, Ashanti, Marigolds in August, Dogs of War, Gandhi, The Stick, A Dry White Season, Perfume of the Cyclone, The Air Up There, The Power of One, Tarzan and Jane, The Store Keeper, and I Dreamed of Africa.

This production of The Island is the Honors Acting Thesis of Niccolo Moretti ’10. The play will also feature Luke Rampersad ’10. Guest artist Suzi Takahashi is Director, Jesse Paulsen HC ’09 is Lighting Designer and Daniel Perelstein '09 is Sound Designer.

Niccolo Moretti ‘10 has acted in Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening and Oscar Wilde's Salome. He has directed Tennesse Wiliams' This Property is Condemned, Tony Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day, and co-directed Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play with Louis Jargow ‘10. He has performed in AD HOC Theater Company's collective creation The Destruction of the City, and Also an Itinerary for Visitors, which premiered at the 2008 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. He also writes and performs in Swarthmore College's sketch comedy group Boy Meets Tractor, and is a founding member of This Thing of Ours, a Philadelphia-based comedy group.

Suzi Takahashi is the co-artistic director and founder of the intercultural performance ensemble Ex.Pgirl with whom she has co-directed, created, produced, and costume/prop designed Ablution, Waving Hello, 10 Plates, and Paris Syndrome. Ex.Pgirl is currently in residence at HERE Art Space, NYC, where they will produce their newest work in June 2010. Suzi is also a directing fellow at The New York Theater Workshop for 2009-10. Suzi has taught acting and movement at Swarthmore College, The City College of New York, Hunter College, and Marymount Manhattan.

The performances are free and open to the public without advance reservations. For more info contact Liza Clark at lclark1@swarthmore.edu or (610) 328-8260.