Opening

Athol Fugard Staged Readings

When: March 22-23, 5:30 p.m. 2012

Playwright Athol Fugard's 80th birthday—after more than a half-century documenting life during and after apartheid in his native South Africa—has sparked a series of major productions of his work this year. New York has savored the belated Broadway premiere of his 1984 drama The Road to Mecca (which Burning Coal and PlayMakers Rep both have memorably mounted locally) and his 1961 breakthrough play, Blood Knot, the first of three productions Signature Theatre will present during 2012.

Tonight Fugard visits UNC to deliver an address, "Milestones of a Literary Journey," at Paul Green Theatre at 7:30. Thursday and Friday, the Department of Dramatic Art and PlayMakers Rep co-sponsor two staged readings at 5:30 p.m. in Kenan Theatre.

Thursday, Kathryn Hunter-Williams directs a reading of My Children! My Africa!, a 1989 tale of two gifted schoolchildren in a South Africa on the brink of revolution. In Friday's reading of 2010's The Train Driver, the title character desperately seeks the aid of a poor gravedigger to help address a great wrong. Admission is free, but reservations are strongly recommended. —Byron Woods

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