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Sizwe Banzi is Dead

Friday, April 21, 2023

08:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Arena Players Inc.

801 McCulloh Street, Baltimore, MD, USA

A play by Athol Fugard, written collaboratively with two South African actors, John Kani and Winston Ntshona, both of whom appeared in the original production. Its world première occurred on 8 October 1972 at the Space Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa.

In 1972, South Africa had a system of repressive apartheid; segregation occurred socially, economically, politically, and culturally. For years, black Africans and “coloureds” (the South African term for those of mixed race) had been the overwhelming majority, yet their rights and opportunities were severely restricted by the white minority.

Sizwe Banzi is Dead takes a light hearted look at identity amid one of the longest standing (government sanctioned) systems of segregation … and oppression, in Africa. The quest for changing identity deeply affects each of the major characters.

In the 1970s the racist parallels for African Americans in the United States were startling … and the residual impact of Apartheid remains ever present in South African life… as well as the parallels in the United States, 2023.

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