Groundswell, Ian Bruce's South African Play, Begins at Old Globe March 12

News   Groundswell, Ian Bruce's South African Play, Begins at Old Globe March 12
The new Old Globe Theatre production of Groundswell, Ian Bruce's psychological drama set in South Africa, begins previews March 12 in anticipation of a March 17 opening. Antony Hagopian, Owiso Odera and Ned Schmidtke are featured.

Playwright Ian Bruce
Playwright Ian Bruce

Kyle Donnelly (former associate artistic director of Arena Stage in Washington, DC) directs the staging, to play to April 17 at the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre in San Diego.

Here's how Old Globe characterizes the drama, which was seen in separate productions by Off-Broadway's The New Group and San Jose Rep: "Set in a beachfront resort on the jagged edge of west South Africa, two men plot to convince their lone guest to invest in their diamond-mining scheme. The three men find themselves caught in a power struggle fueled by greed and desperation and will go to any length to secure a chance at a better life. Groundswell is a haunting, psychological thriller that offers a provocative look at a society still haunted by its divided past."

The creative team includes Kate Edmunds (scenic design), Denitsa Bliznakova (costume design), Russell H. Champa (lighting design), Lindsay Jones (sound design), Gillian Lane-Plescia (dialect coach) and Annette Yé (stage manager).

Playwright Ian Bruce was trained as an actor in Johannesburg and appeared briefly in the early 1970s on the South African stage and TV before leaving South Africa to begin a 17-year-long political exile in Holland, where he co-founded the Tekhwini Theatre Foundation with Anthony Akerman and Joseph Mosikili. In 1978 his first play, Falls the Shadow, won a Dutch Arts Council Best New Play Award. Several works with South African themes and subjects followed. The only one of these to evade South Africa's censorship laws, My Father's House, was produced by PACT, the most progressive of the four provincial arts councils that existed in South Africa at the time, in 1987.

After his return to South Africa in the early 1990s, Bruce "focused on the uses of drama for development and spent some years living and working in poverty-stricken rural communities." In 1998 he began working with the New Africa Theatre Association, for which he and his wife, Ina, have created a host of productions, educational plays and industrial theatre works. He is the current executive director of the New Africa Theatre Association. His post-Groundswell plays include Transit (written and produced in 2009) and Burnt! (written in 2010 and currently in production in Cape Town). Actor Mfundo Morrison, originally announced for the production, left the project.

The Old Globe is located in San Diego's Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. For more information, visit or call (619) 23-GLOBE.

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