One of Athol Fugard's most celebrated dramas, Blood Knot, gets a rare New York revival Sept. 8-Oct. 2, at New York City's 78th Street Theatre. Recent college graduates Vincent Sagona and Steven F. Blye star in this 1962 work.
Blood Knot revolves around the passions and conflict of two South African brothers -- one black (Zachariah) and one so light-skinned, he can pass for white (Morris). The two are reunited after Morris has traveled the country, passing as a white man but without finding happiness. Rather than feel disdain for Morris for betraying his race, Zachariah is extremely jealous of his brother for having privileges not extended to blacks. Together, in Zachariah's Port Elizabeth shack, they reconstruct childhood games in an attempt to find common ground to build a new relationship.
Fugard himself was born of mixed race, having an Afrikaaner mother and Irish-Huguenot father. In his thirty-something years of playwriting, he's had the opportunity to expose a large public to the tense racial environment in South Africa during the years of Apartheid. Blood Knot, one of Fugard's earliest plays, was written in 1962. Fugard and actor Zakes Mokae were arrested during the Johannesburg premiere, with severe censorship laws passed prohibiting racially-mixed casts because of Blood Knot.
Other plays by Fugard include: Master Harold and the Boys, Boesman and Lena, Road to Mecca, Valley Song and his most recent, The Captain's Tiger.
Staging Blood Knot is Joseph Megel, who helmed the zany comedy, Men on The Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown. Lighting design is by David Kissel. Fugard's Blood Knot plays at the 78th Street Theatre Sept. 8-Oct. 2. For tickets ($12) or more information call (212) 873-9050.
-- By David Lefkowitz & Sean McGrath