The problem that Groenewald (1995: 4) mentions in connection with the Sepedi drama is that, it is not performable and that it is actually not a drama in the true sense of the word. In the African languages there is actually no theatre tradition and the written dramas are, with the exception of a few, plays that should be read. The few exceptions are small works that were written for schoolchildren and that were performed once or twice by them. Groenewald emphasises the fact that school and university syllabi demand that there be dramas in the these languages, but that they are never performed. This dissertation wants to scrutinise the main shortcomings related to performance so that the findings can serve as an incentive to prospective playwrights to improve on what already exists. In order to limit the magnitude of such an investigation, a specific drama, namely Nkadimeng's Ntšhutelele (1985) is concentrated on. This work is choosen because almost all shortcomings with regard to performance appear in it. Two authors have already discussed this drama and have pointed out a few problems. The first investigator is Mohlala who comments mainly on the dialogue and monologue. The second person is Mokwebu, and in his report he obliquely touches on the aspects of time and place in the course of events. Although they do bring up certain problems related to performability, their discussions deal mainly with the drama as a literary work. This dissertation, however, does not only want to discuss the problem related to the performability of the Sepedi drama, but also wants to explain why each specific problem hampers the performability of the work. In this discussion, the drama is discussed as a work that has two modes of existence, i.e. that it is a literary work as well as a stage play. As a drama it thus exists thanks to (a) the author and (b) a producer who is responsible only for the performance. The latter, amongst other things, must make sure that the performance does not take too long and that the stage that he uses has enough space to accommodate the reality that is being presented. The problems related to performance that will be discussed are classified under the following: time and place of the events that are presented, the dialogue and the monologue, and the role played by the author's directions. Structural errors that have implications for the performance are also pointed out in the work. The concepts that are used in the analysis of Ntšhutelele are defined comprehensively in advance. It stands to reason that literary concepts that are relevantto the discussion like content, structure and the author's vision are amongst these concepts. However, the concept of performance is explained in the greatest detail so that the requirements in such a case can be sketched clearly and that they can be used as evaluation criteria in the discussion of the drama Ntšhutelele. In the following analysis, the shortcomings with regard to performance as listed above are discussed comprehensively and critically. In a few cases, one or more merits are indicated in addition to the pointing out of the shortcomings. The concept of time is examined in the widest sense of the word, as is the duration of the performance as such.
Dissertation (MA (African Languages))--University of Pretoria, 2007.