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The Road to Mecca - Full Length Play, Drama

The Road to Mecca

Athol Fugard

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Full Length Play, Drama

1m, 2f

ISBN: 9780573660184

Winner! The New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play

"The author's most personal play to date, an essential rosetta stone for the entire canon." - The New York Times

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Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play



Interior Set


Winner! The New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play

Winner! The New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play
This unusual drama by a premiere contemporary dramatist focuses on Miss Helen, an old Boer woman who lives alone in the South African boondocks where she creates odd concrete sculptures which she calls her Mecca. A young woman who was once helped by Miss Helen has traveled hundreds of miles to help her in a time of crisis Miss Helen is in danger of being sent to an old folks' home by a narrow minded minister who considers her sculptures a public nuisance. A penetrating study of the role of the artist in any society, this important play was produced in London and New York to great critical acclaim.
"The author's most personal play to date, an essential rosetta stone for the entire canon." - The New York Times

"Glows with a rare luminosity and intensity. Athol Fugard's latest play...is also his most eloquent and transforming." - The Christian Science Monitor

"One of Fugard's simplest, most beautiful plays." - The New York Daily News



1m, 2f

Athol Fugard

Athol Fugard

Athol Fugard is an internationally acclaimed South African playwright whose best-known work deals with the political and social upheaval of the apartheid system in South Africa. He was educated at the University of Cape Town. His plays include The Captain's Tiger, Valley Song, My Children! My Africa, A Lesson from Aloes, The Island, and the award-winning Sizwe Banzi is Dead. Mr. Fugard has ... view full profile

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Lavinia Roberts 4/25/2013 2:46 AM
The Road to Mecca by Athol Fugard was the winner of the 1988 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play.  This work is about a South African artist struggling to create art in a community afraid and distrustful of her eccentricity and creative drive.
  The Road to Mecca has a very traditional climatic play structure.  The entire play happened within one evening, with events unfolding in chronological order.  The work was psychological realism.
  As in all of Fugard’s work, The Road to Mecca’s dialogue is very colloquial and naturalistic.  The exposition was given very gradually.  Although an exemplary work of drama, at some times the text was almost verbose, with character’s reveling more back story then necessary, overtly stating what could have been implied in the subtext, as well as, long monologues that were too long to feel completely colloquial or natural, even if beautifully, poetically, and thoughtfully written.  
  Fugard very successfully utilized symbolism in The Road to Mecca.  Candles were used to represent how art or enlightenment, could ward away darkness or ignorance and cruelty, such as the darkness the main protagonist experienced in the village.
  Fugard tackled various important themes in The Road to Mecca.  His work was a discourse of life in a small South African Village.  His work asked broader existential questions about why humans are compelled to make art and what is art's purpose.  His work questioned the value of organized religion, and other ways humanity could experience spiritual fulfillment, such as through art.  He presented, very non-judgmentally and empathetically, important female issues such as abortion, and traditional roles of women in this community.  He explored important issues of how we view and treat the elderly.  His ability to weave so many pertinent themes into one story was exceptional.  The piece explored important issues, but was predominately about the characters.  This choice to make the work about the individuals and not the issues gave the work a greater emotional resonance.
The Road to Mecca is a very successfully rendered play.  The world of the play was completely believable, with fully fleshed characters.  The themes presented in the play promoted questions, but not answers to the audience, making this work rich source material for discourse and reflection.

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