The Reading Room - Karoo as Character

Curated by Ydalie TURK

Landscape as Character: The Karoo

Landscape as Character: The Karoo is a curated staged reading of several scenes from three South African plays set in the Karoo. We will be staging scenes from Tiffany Saterdaght and Neil Coppen's Op Hierie Dag, Athol Fugard’s Road to Mecca, and Mies Julie by Yael Farber. 

The Karoo is undoubtedly a prominent and prolific choice of setting in South African Theatre. This evening will explore ‘why?’ We’ll be using the scenes to spark conversations around mysticism and desert landscapes, why ‘spiritual’ ties to the desert seem culturally ubiquitous, and whether these ideas can be deemed problematic. We’ll also explore how landscape informs, catalyzes, and enhances feelings of isolation in the texts. Finally, the scenes will be adapted and performed again, in different experimental settings, to investigate whether the success of the play hinges on the particularity of the landscape. 

Participants will have the opportunity to not only watch rehearsed and staged renderings from each play but also engage in intimate discussions as a group throughout.

Tea and Cake will be served free of charge.

Playscripts, Seen Pha apparel and some art will be for sale, so join us for an afternoon of browsing, watching and communing.

Ydalie Turk is a South African/ Lebanese actor and writer who was named Screenwriter to Watch in 2022 by MovieMaker Magazine for The Grand Bolero (feature) which premiered at The Austin Film Festival. She is the co-founder of Holding Thumbs Productions and graduated with a BFA in Acting. She currently resides in Cape Town where she works in Film, Television, and on Stage. Some of her recent theatre work includes playing Orpheus in Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, Katjia in Zakes Mda’s The Bells of Amersfoort, and Miriam in Green Room. Thereafter, she wrote and starred in Before the Second Advent, which debuted at Theatre Arts and The Drama Factory. Most recently, she wrote and directed Ma Lina (short) which was an official selection at the Female Eye Film Festival, 2023, and co-wrote and starred in TRIFOLE (feature), which was shot in Turin, Italy in 2023 and is currently in post-production.