Alexandria & # 39; s MetroStage presents & # 39; The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek & # 39;

MetroStage in Alexandria opens its season 2018-19 with "The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek" by Athol Fugard from 30 August to 30 September.

The piece, directed by Artistic Associate Thomas W. Jones II, was inspired by the life of outsider-artist Nukain Mabuza. In the play, Fugard shows both the brutality of apartheid in the 1980s and the violence and the entrenched patterns that continue to have consequences after South Africa's apartheid. The painted flowers of the farmer and the images of the rocks on the fields reflect an abstract view of the painter's life. And the interaction with the wife of the farm owner shows South Africa yesterday and today while struggling to reconcile his past and his future.

According to producer artistic director Carolyn Griffin: "MetroStage is associated with Athol Fugard playing since 1987 when we opened our first season in our first theater (remember that comic shop center on Duke Street opposite the King Street Metro?) With & # 39; Blood Knot & # 39; with Bill Grimmette and Nat Benchley, who both received Helen Hayes nominations in those two-handed. "We followed with Fugard's" The Island "," Sizwe Bansi is Dead & "; "Boesman and Lena," all timeless plays that are still being produced.We followed our Fugard phase with the American premiere of "Beautiful Street Movements" by the South African playwright Paul Slabolepszy, a playwright discovered by my daughter Jennifer Griffin when she saw his play and met him at the Market Theater in Johannesburg, so it is only fitting that when we approach our last season in our theater here in North Old Town, we return to this iconic play far. "

Griffin said with "The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek" being Fugard's most recent play, it is a fictionalized version of the life of farmer and outsider artist Nukain Mabuza, and his second game inspired by an outsider artist ("Road to Mecca" about Helen Martins and her "Owl House" as his first).

In & # 39; Painted Rocks & # 39; Fugard treats two decades of South African history, with the first act being placed under the apartheid government in 1980 and the characters returning to post-apartheid in South Africa 20 years later. "It is a fascinating study of the impact of apartheid on both the farmers and the owners of the farm, through the playwright's lens," she said.

Jeremy Hunter plays the role of Jonathan Sejake who is first experienced as an 11-year-old named Bokkie. & # 39; The only true understanding of him is his relationship with Nukain (his Tata or Outa). "It is your typical loving grandfather / grandson relationship, but the most intriguing thing is the activity that takes place on stage," he said. "Bokkie assists Nukain paint & # 39; The Big One & # 39; … a big rock at the top of the hill.While they talk and work, Bokkie witnesses a transformation in Nukain.The revelation is baffling for Bokkie, but it makes him see Nukain in a whole new light, with tremendous pride and dignity, but this is crushed when Mrs. Kleynhans interrupts their work, "he said.

After the events that took place, Hunter said that the public has not seen Nukain or Bokkie for a while. Twenty years pass, Nukain has died and Bokkie (who ran away from their home) now returns a man. In search of solution and closure, Jonathan's journey has brought him from apartheid South Africa to the newly liberated Zimbabwe and back again. Weathered, wise and friendly; Jonathan comes back to explain the transformation and to tell the story of his beloved Nukain.

Hunter said that the challenge for him was to create the South African accent. "I have never been so immersed in a culture that I have taken an accent and the process has been shocking, trying to remember which sounds make words, their placement in the mouth and in the body, it is extremely challenging," he said. . "All the more so that South Africa has 11 languages ​​spoken and my character lived here as well as Zimbabwe, which has its own dialect and taste." Everything for me is, lol, relatively simple compared to this, "he said. .

Marni Penning Coleman plays the role of Elmarie Kleynhans, an Afrikaner in her 40s who grew up in South Africa and never knows any way of life except the "way things are" in Revolver Creek, an apartheid era. "She is the wife of & # 39; Boss Hennie & # 39 ;, who runs the farm, and is a devout Christian who is sure that God protects her and the people she loves. there in Johannesburg have & # 39 ;. She thinks she is doing the right things, but benefits fully from the oppressed society she lives in, "she said.

Fast-forward to post-apartheid South Africa in 2003 in the second act, and she is now in charge of the farm. But her faith staggers like, like a modern Job, she sees the privileged life and society she trusts in collapsing around her and that God is seemingly nowhere to be found. With & # 39; someone she used to know & # 39 ;, she struggles for her place and role in the & # 39; story & # 39; from their & # 39; New South Africa & # 39; to understand.

She adds: "The real challenge of this role is not only the Afrikaans dialect (which I happily have an native Afrikaner who lives in DC to help me), but also someone who holds on to the belief that they are fully entitled to be on the land that was stolen from the African people more than 150 years ago by her ancestors, and it is interesting that we are talking about the same time that we are now from the American Civil War. "

Actor Doug Brown returns to MetroStage which has previously performed on "The Island" and "Mooi Street Moves". Marni Penning played in Roy & # 39; s "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been" last year and the young Jeremiah Hasty, a rising seventh grader, was shown for the last time in the world premiere of "Uprising." Jeremy Hunter, last seen at Mosaic Theater in "Hooded or Being Black for Dummies", makes his MetroStage debut.

MetroStage presents "The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek" from August 30 to September 30. Performances are on Thursday and Friday at 20:00, and on Saturday at 15:00. and 20 hours, Sundays at 3 pm and 7 pm Tickets are $ 55 with students and active military and group discounts available with Flex Passes available for four or more tickets. For reservations for tickets or information about group sales, call 703-548-9044 or visit

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